Brenner Answers the ADL Smear with a Booklet-
"Crazy Like a Foxman"
The Anti-Defamation League's National Director is Crazy like a Foxman
I - 1993: ADL smears Lenni Brenner
Abraham Foxman, the ADL's National Director, is well and truly crazy, and for two reasons: 1) He libeled me and 2) he thinks he can get away with it.
The saying is that one good turn deserves another. Since Foxman and the ADL have spread malicious nonsense about me, I will tell the exact truth about them, putting their dishonesty about my ideas within the context of the ADL's unending history of rightwing stupidity and dishonor.
In October 1993, Foxman gave a speech at a Paris conference on xenophobia. Later he adapted it as an article, "Holocaust Denial: The Growing Danger," published in an ADL magazine, Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies, vol. 8, number 1, released in the Spring of 1994. There we find the following remarks (in green):
Another aspect of Holocaust "revisionist" thinking can be found on the radical left. A writer named Lenni Brenner maintains that Zionists, in effect, were in league with the Nazis. He asserts that there was a close link between elements of the Zionist movement and the Nazi party, that Zionists were willing to foster and exploit anti-Semitism in Europe to bring about a Zionist state, and that they had proposed an alliance with Nazi Germany.
Brenner's thesis, with its coupling of Zionists with Nazis, serves as a propaganda tool to undermine Israel: as such, it has found favor with the American radical left, and with the press of the former Soviet Union. The erstwhile Soviet daily Izvestia wrote of his work: "During the World War, Brenner points out, Zionism showed its real meaning: for the sake of its ambitions, it sacrificed the blood of millions of Jews." Brenner has also won approval on the other end of the spectrum, the neo-fascist right: His books have been promoted by the Institute for Historical Review.
Has Foxman even read me on Zionism's role during the Nazi era? His speech and article unmistakably relied on Hitler's Apologists: The Anti-Semitic Propaganda of Holocaust "Revisionism," prepared by Marc Caplan of the Research and Evaluation Department of the ADL, in 1993. Here we find the original, slightly longer, but no more honest, version of Foxman's libel, labeled "A Revisionist Echo on the Left." Foxman's two paragraphs on me are virtually the same as Caplan's first two paragraphs. Caplan added that
In 1987 this point of view surfaced in England, when a stridently anti-Zionist play, "Perdition," by Jim Allen, was scheduled for production at London's prestigious Royal Court Theater. The play generated intense public controversy and, finally, it did not open. The writer acknowledged Brenner's work as a source in writing his play, which portrayed a wartime Zionist leader who allegedly collaborated with the Nazis to save his family and other Zionists while deserting the rest of the community. Allen said he was seeking to mount "the most lethal attack on Zionism ever written."
I've written four books and about 100 articles. Jim Allen is a prize-winning British playwright. I defy the ADL to point to one word in either of our writings that supports even a particle of the Holocaust revisionists' depravity.
In the February 18, 1985 New Republic, Eric Breindel, now an editor of the New York Post, reported that my first book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, has been applauded, and made available by the Institute for Historical Review, a pseudo-scientific flat-earth society which endeavors to prove that the Holocaust was a hoax.
Not having seen anything on the book by the Institute, I wrote them and received a letter from Tom Marcellus of the IHR. They had 'promoted' the book on two occasions. They sent me a booklist:
397. ZIONISM IN THE AGE OF THE DICTATORS: A REAPPRAISAL by Lenni Brenner. An astounding, bombshell expose of the active collaboration between Nazis and Zionists, by a courageous anti-Zionist Jew who spent years piecing together the story. Details the close links between the "Zionist Revisionism" movement (to which both the young Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir belonged) and the Jewish question experts of the Nazi Party, Brenner's charge, overwhelmingly documented: that Zionism and its leaders from the beginning were prepared to go to any lengths to achieve their goal of a state in Palestine -- lengths that included fostering and exploiting anti-Semitism in Europe, and proposing an alliance with Germany at the zenith of that nation's power. This book has certain surviving WWII-era Zionists quaking in their boots -- including the present Prime Minister of Israel!
The IHR's letter went on:
We also promoted it in an IHR Newsletter of a couple of years ago, but the remaining copies of that issue and the records concerning it were all lost in an arson that completely destroyed our business address and inventory on 4 July last.
I replied to Marcellus in a letter, on April 11, 1985. I quoted from it in my third book, Jews In America Today, published in 1986:
The depravity of the Institute is clearly expressed in a box, "The Holocaust," in the same booklet: "A catch-all term to identify the alleged extermination of European Jewry which insists on the following presumptions: 1) The Nazis executed a deliberate plan to destroy (not resettle) European Jewry, (2) Six million or more Jews perished as a result, and (3) A majority of these were killed by poison gas (Zyklon B) in gas chambers designed for the purpose of taking human life en masse. This is the orthodox or Establishment view. A subscriber to this view could be called an EXTERMINATIONIST: whereas one who endeavors to show that one or more of the above presumptions is not factual is a REVISIONIST."
All of the above is bullshit. I share not one iota of your mad ideology. I am your implacable opponent. I do not believe you have any right to exist . . . and I support any and all attempts, by any and all, Zionist or anti-Zionist, to bust up your institute and your meetings.
I had sent a letter to the New Republic, in response to Breindel, but Martin Peretz's strange journal wouldn't run it. Fortunately Alex Cockburn defended me in June 29, 1985 Nation. Breindel replied, in the August 1, 1985 Nation. Cockburn retorted that
Breindel is fond of saying that the Institute . . . applauds and disseminates Brenner's work, though he denies that he is thus trying to saddle Brenner with the Institute's views. But of course that is what Breindel has been trying to do . . . The Institute lists Brenner's book as it does books by such diverse people as A.P.J. Taylor, former Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett and New Republic contributors Ronald Radosh and Allen Weinstein.
Caplan and Foxman may have read of this in the New Republic and The Nation. But at any rate Caplan certainly was aware of my opinion of the IHR when he wrote Hitler's Apologists. He had attacked me in a previous ADL pamphlet, Jew-Hatred As History. An Analysis of the Nation of Islam's "The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews". In that screed he had quoted -- out of context, of course -- from Jews In America Today. So he certainly read of the entire IHR episode, as I devoted six pages to it.
It is in order for me to dismiss the Institute's praise of Zionism in the Age of the Dictators by saying that this is of no more importance the fact that roaches like gourmet cooking just as much as you do. But readers are entitled to know why these nutsies liked it. Basically, they minimize the Holocaust: 'Aw right, so Hitler didn't exactly like Jews. And he rounded them up, as enemies, and some of them died of disease. An' besides, what about Roosevelt rounding up the Japanese Americans on the West Coast? An' look at Stalin's Katyn massacre, and Churchill's horrific bombing of Dresden, and the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here the Yids are, yelling about Hitler, while the Allied leaders were monsters, just like Hitler. Damned if it isn't true that everyone has skeletons in their closet. Why go on dumping on po' ol' Adolf?' Given this loony psychology, their catalogue is full of books on Allied crimes, no less crimes for being emphasized by these crazies. In the same way, my exposure of real Zionist activities during the Nazi era became additional 'proof' that Hitler was no worse than the rest of the wicked world.
As I don't waste my time reading such crackpots, I have no idea if they still even mention my book. Certainly they are insane if they went on praising me, or my book, after I told them that I hailed anyone who burns their headquarters. As the ADL monitors their publications, it is reasonable to think that the ADL would have mentioned this in their attacks on me.
Caplan's paragraph re Jim Allen's Perdition is disingenuous in its omissions. Allen is a prize-winning British TV playwright. Perdition was based on a chapter in Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, dealing with the role of Rezso Kasztner, a Zionist leader in Nazi-occupied Hungary in 1944. The play was driven out of the Royal Court Theatre by a Zionist campaign, but their methods alienated public opinion. David Cesarani, now an editor of Patterns of Prejudice, published by the London Jewish establishment's Institute of Jewish Affairs, admitted this in the July 3, 1987 Jewish Chronicle:
Was it worth all the fuss? Had the play gone on, it would have been seen by around 2,000 people. It might have attracted some bad reviews and then disappeared . . . In the event . . . Personal representations coincided with the threat of a mass protest outside the theatre, the combined effect of which made it seem as if pressure was being applied . . . This was (theatre director) Stafford Clark's autonomous decision, but the clamour made it appear disastrously as if he had been bullied into censoring the play . . . It is certainly difficult to know how to respond . . . without resorting to heavy-handed methods.
In fact Perdition was produced, first in print, then as a reading at the Edinburgh Festival in 1987 and then in London in May, 1988. It received massive media attention, including favorable reviews. Stuart Hood reflected on the print version in the July 10, 1987 Guardian:
"There are certain themes from the history of the Second World War which are subject to taboos . . . (T)he Holocaust has come to play an important ideological role. It has been in this sense appropriated by the state of Israel and the Zionist movement. It has thus become a shield against criticism of the policies and actions of that state and of Zionism itself . . . Allen was a bold man to write Perdition . . . Although he develops his argument with understanding of the terrible dilemmas of the main persons involved, his criticism of the role of Zionist ideology, then and now, has led to his being accused of anti-Semitism, of which his whole political past is a denial . . . By refusing to stage a play which honestly and compassionately examines a terrible moment in human history, the Royal Court was guilty of failure of nerve, of civil courage. By giving way to powerful lobbying it has reinforced an indefensible political taboo."
There is more to this story. The Jewish Chronicle for November 27, 1992 was forced to run an article which announced that
"The collapse of a libel action has allowed the controversial anti-Zionist play "Perdition" to be published in full for the first time . . . " Pluto Press, omitted several pages from the original text because of a libel action which was brought by Nathan Dror, a senior figure in the Israeli Labour Federation, who headed the Jewish rescue committee in Switzerland during the war. He brought the action . . . for references to a letter quoted in "Perdition," allegedly written by Mr. Dror during the Second World War, which claimed Jewish deaths would help justify the foundation of a Jewish state. The action, heard in the High Court in London, collapsed due to lack of evidence. Dror's letter will be quoted below, in its proper chronological place. I had quoted it in my book, which appeared in Britain and America, in 1983. Dror didn't sue me. But when Allen quoted the same letter, he was sued. Because of Britain's reactionary libel laws, the publisher was compelled to print Allen's play with a blank space where the letter was cited because the libel case was before the courts. I had an accompanying essay in that printing of the play, and had the unique experience for an American writer, of having it in effect censored, with similar blank spaces where I also quoted the letter
II - Zionism and the Nazis: The documentary record
By now two things should be clear to open-minded readers: l) My ideas regarding Zionism's role during the Holocaust have nothing in common with Holocaust revisionists, who deny that the Holocaust happened, and 2) the Zionist movement has used both libel and a spurious libel suit in its attempt to keep the facts from the public. But at this point readers are better informed as to what I didn't say than what I do say re Zionism's Holocaust role. Naturally I refer them to Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, which is obtainable in bookstores and libraries. But for now I will describe some of the low points of their activities, using a small part of the documentation included in my book.
The Nazis came to power in January, 1933. On June 21 the Zionistische Vereinigung fur Deutschland (the Zionist Federation of Germany) sent a memorandum to the Nazi Party. The document first saw the light of day in 1961, when it was printed in Israel, but in German. The Nazis were asked, very politely:
(M)ay we therefore be permitted to present our views, which, in our opinion, makes possible a solution in keeping with the principles of the new German State of National Awakening and which at the same time might signify for Jews a new ordering of the conditions of their existence . . .
(A)n answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural, and moral renewal of Jewry . . . a rebirth of national life, such as is occurring in German life through adhesion to Christian and national values, must also take place in the Jewish national group. For the Jew, too, origin, religion, community of fate and group consciousness must be of decisive significance in the shaping of his life..
On the foundation of the new state, which has established the principle of race, we wish so to fit our community into the total structure so that for us too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible . . . Our acknowledgement of Jewish nationality provides for a clear and sincere relationship to the German people and its national and racial realities. Precisely because we do not wish to falsify these fundamentals, because we, too, are against mixed marriage and for the maintaining of the purity of the Jewish group . . . (R)ootedness in one's own spirituality protects the Jew from becoming the rootless critic of the national foundation of German essence. The national distancing which the state desires would thus be brought about easily as the result of an organic development . . . We believe in the possibility of an honest relationship of loyalty between a group-conscious Jewry and the German state . . .
For its practical aims, Zionism hopes to be able to win the collaboration even of a government fundamentally hostile to Jews, because in dealing with the Jewish question no sentimentalities are involved but a real problem whose solution interests all peoples, and at the present moment especially the German people.
The realization of Zionism could only be hurt by resentment of Jews abroad against the German development. Boycott propaganda --such as is currently being carried on against Germany in many ways -- is in essence un-Zionist, because Zionism wants not to do battle but to convince and to build . . . Our observations, presented herewith, rest on the conviction that, in solving the Jewish problem according to its own lights, the German Government will have full understanding for a candid and clear Jewish posture that harmonizes with the interests of the state.
I admit to being the Shakespeare of our times, but I didn't make that up. Indeed the Lenni Brenner of the Elizabethean age didn't have the imagination to concoct anything as grotesque as this memorandum. It is found, complete, in A Holocaust Reader, edited by the late Lucy Dawidowicz. But let's not stop here. Let's look at some more Zionist wonderfulness.
The Nazis used the World Zionist Organization to break the efforts of those Jews who were trying to boycott German goods. German Jews could put money into a Berlin bank. It was then used to buy export goods which were sold in Palestine. When the emigres arrived there, they would receive payment for the goods that had been sold. German Jews were attracted to this scheme because it was the least painful way of getting their wealth out of the country. However, with the Nazis determining the rules, they naturally got worse with time. By 1938 users of the "Transfer Agreement" were losing 30% and even 50% of their money. But this was still three times, and eventually five times better than the losses endured by Jews whose money went to other destinations.
Nazi mass-murderer Adolph Eichmann who visited Zionists at a Kibbutz in Haifa, Palestine on October 2nd 1937.
The WZO naturally wanted better terms. Accordingly, in 1937, the Haganah, the military arm of the Labor Zionists, who dominated the Jewish Agency, the WZO's headquarters in Palestine, obtained Berlin's permission to negotiate directly with the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), the Security Service of the SS. A Haganah agent, Feival Polkes, arrived in Germany on February 26, 1937 and Adolf Eichmann was assigned to negotiate with him. Their conversations were recorded in a report by Eichmann's superior, Franz-Albert Six. It was found in SS files captured by the Americans at the end of WWII. David Yisraeli, a well-known Israeli scholar, reprinted it, in German, in his PhD thesis, The Palestine Problem in German Politics 1889-1945:
"Polkes is a national-Zionist . . . As a Haganah man he fights against Communism and all aims of Arab-British friendship . . . He declared himself willing to work for Germany in the form of providing intelligence as long as this does not oppose his own political goals. Among other things he would support German foreign policy in the Near East. He would try to find oil sources for the German Reich without affecting British spheres of interest if the German monetary regulations were eased for Jewish emigrants to Palestine."
Polkes had to cut short his visit. But in October it was the Zionists' turn to receive Eichmann. He arrived in Haifa on October 2, 1937. Polkes took him to a kibbutz, but the British CID had become aware of Eichmann's presence and expelled him to Egypt. Polkes followed him and further discussions were held in Cairo. The German report, photocopied in its entirety in volume five of John Mendelsohn's Holocaust, gives us the rationale for the Haganah's would-be collaboration:
"(I)n Jewish nationalist circles people were very pleased with the radical German policy, since the strength of the Jewish population in Palestine would be so far increased thereby that in the foreseeable future the Jews could reckon upon numerical superiority over the Arabs in Palestine."
Polkes passed on two pieces of intelligence information to the Nazis:
"(T)he Pan-Islamic World Congress convening in Berlin is in direct contact with two pro-Soviet Arab leaders: Emir Shekib Arslan and Emir Adil Arslan . . . The illegal Communist broadcasting station whose transmission to Germany is particularly strong, is, according to Polkes' statement, assembled on a lorry that drives along the German-Luxembourg border when transmission is on the air."
The Laborites main Zionist rivals in the '30s were the "Zionist-Revisionist" followers of Vladimir Jabotinsky. Their Revisionism had nothing in common with present-day Holocaust Revisionism. They wanted to revise the Zionist and British policy towards the Palestinians. They wanted to crush them by force, with an "iron wall" of weaponry. Today they are the dominant ideological tendency in Israel's opposition Likud bloc.
As the British weren't in Palestine to do Jabotinsky's bidding, he and his movement looked to Mussolini's Italy as a potential replacement for Britain as Zionism's then necessary imperial patron against overwhelming Palestinian numbers. While Jabotinsky insisted that he personally didn't like Fascism, Wolfgang von Weisl, the Revisionists' financial director, had no hesitation about telling a Bucharest paper that "although opinions among the Revisionists varied, in general they sympathized with Fascism." He eagerly announced that "He personally was a supporter of Fascism, and he rejoiced at the victory of Fascist Italy in Abyssinia as a triumph of the White races against the Black."
Italy was quite willing to support the Revisionists, who were obviously the Fascists of Zionism. In 1934 Mussolini allowed the Betar, the Revisionist youth group, to set up a squadron at the maritime academy at Civitavecchia run by the Blackshirts. The March 1936 issue of L'Idea Sionistica, the Revisionists' Italian magazine, described the ceremonies at the inauguration of the Betar squad's headquarters:
"The order -- "Attention!" A triple chant ordered by the squad's commanding officer -- "Viva L'Italia! Viva Il Re! Viva Il Duce!" resounded, followed by the benediction which rabbi Aldo Iattes invoked in Italian and in Hebrew for God, for the king and for Il Duce . . . Giovinezza (the Fascist Party's anthem) was sung with much enthusiasm by the Betarim."
Even after the outbreak of WWII, a wing of Jabotinsky's following tried to get the patronage of the Axis powers. According to their crackpot notions, Britain was the main enemy of Jewry because London controlled Palestine and wouldn't establish a Jewish state which, they believed, was the only solution to anti-Semitism. Accordingly they sent an agent to Lebanon, then run by the Vichy-French regime. He delivered a memorandum to a German diplomat. After the war it was found in the files of the German embassy in Turkey. The Ankara document called itself a Proposal of the National Military Organization (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. It is dated 11 January 1941. At that time they still thought of themselves as the real Irgun, Jabotinsky's underground terrorists. Later they adapted the name Lohami Herut Yisrael, Fighters for the Freedom of Israel. However they are universally known as the Stern Gang, the name given to them by the British, after their founder, Avraham Stern. Their entire document is reprinted in Yisraeli's thesis, in German. They told the Nazis that
"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 those masses in the home of the Jewish people, Palestine, and through the establishment of a Jewish state in its historical boundaries . . . The NMO . . . is of the opinion that . . . 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 recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany's side."
At the time the Sternists were a numerically insignificant minority of the Zionist movement and were reviled as the pro-Nazi loons that they obviously were. This monstrous offer took on vastly greater contemporary significance when one of their leaders, Yitzhak Yzernitsky, later became prime minister of Israel under his underground name, Yitzhak Shamir. As it happened, I was in Jerusalem when Menachem Begin nominated him as his successor and had the complete text of the traitors' memorandum printed, in English, in an Arab-owned paper. An Israeli daily used the occasion to confront Shamir on this episode. The story was picked up in the 21 October 1983 London Times. Yes, Shamir admitted,
There was a plan to turn to Italy for help and to make contact with Germany on the assumption that these could bring about a massive Jewish immigration. I opposed this, but I did join Lehi after the idea of contacts with the Axis countries was dropped.
Even if we were to take this fairy tale as gospel, didn't Shamir confess to knowingly joining a pro-Nazi movement? But he was lying. In 1963, Gerold Frank wrote The Deed, a study of the 1944 Stern Gang assassination of Lord Moyne, Churchill's High Commissioner for the Middle East. Frank tells of an incident shortly after Jabotinsky's death, on August 3, 1940. The Jabotinsky loyalists, led by David Raziel, and the Sternists sent speakers to try to convince the undecided among the Irgun to go with them. Frank relates that
"(T)he movement all but disintegrated. In September Stern walked out and set up his own group . . . Eliahu (Bet Zouri) and David Danon . . . were summoned to a remote schoolhouse . . . (T)hey were to be addressed by a representative of each faction . . . (A) short, square-shouldered, square-faced, muscular man awaited them. Itzhak Yizernitsky . . . spoke tersely, summing up the reasons behind Stern's decision to walk out . . . "Men!" His deep voice rumbled, "If you want to smell fire and powder, come with us!" (pp. 91-3) . . . David, for his part, could not forget Yizernitsky's "fire and powder" remark in the days immediately following the Raziel-Stern split."
Frank had covered the trial of the two Stern Gang youths who killed Moyne. Shamir organized the slaying. In 1963 Frank had no reason to invent Yizernitsky-Shamir's speech, which is a minor incident in the book. But Shamir had the best reason in the world to make up his 1983 fraud. The world was still naïve. It wasn't ready for an Israeli Prime Minister who would admit that he wanted to ally himself with Hitler.
By 1994, when Shamir wrote his memoirs, Summing Up, he had abandoned his lie about only joining the Sternists after they had given up their treason to the Jews. Now we are told that "In September 1940, my life altered too, for I left the Irgun with Yair (Stern's nom de guerre - LB) to enter the deeper underground from which Lehi fought our outlawed war against the British." But he still can not honestly deal with his own personal treason. He doesn't even mention their memorandum, known to all scholars, of course, but he rationalizes it away:
"What Yair hoped for was that the Nazis, so eager to rid themselves of Jews, would help to bring the majority of Jews from Europe, thru the British blockade, to Palestine, thus making havoc of British illusions regarding post-war control of the Middle East, facilitating Allied defeat and, possibly, if Britain knew what was afoot, even producing the withdrawal of the White Paper (limiting Jewish immigration - LB). Whatever the result, he reasoned, Jews would be brought to Palestine. He didn't make this plan public, but Lehi termed the world war a conflict between the forces of evil, between Gog and Magog, and made unmistakable its position -- again it must be remembered that all this was in 1940 and 1941 -- when it was reasonable to feel that there was little for Jews to chose from between the Germans and the British. All that counted for Yair was that this idea might, after all, be a way to save Jews about whom, no one else, least of all the British, seemed to care. Nothing came of it, of course. By that time, though no one yet knew it, the Nazis were already at work on a very different solution to the Jewish problem. In the meanwhile, however, Lehi was not only feared and disapproved of by the Yishuv (the Jews of Palestine - LB), but also suspected of fifth column activities by a public that went on believing -- incredibly, in the face of accumulating evidence to the contrary -- that the British would open the gates of Palestine to the anguished Jews and which refused to be weaned of emotional and political dependence on Britain".
The destruction of Hungarian Jewry is one of the most tragic chapters in the Holocaust. When the Germans occupied Hungary, on March 19, 1944, its Jewish community leaders knew what to expect, as the country had been a refuge for Polish and Slovakian Jews. In postwar years, the role of Rezso Kasztner, a leader of the Budapest Rescue Committee, was subjected to detailed scrutiny in Israeli courtrooms.
In 1953 the Ben-Gurion government prosecuted an elderly pamphleteer, Malchiel Gruenwald, for having libeled Kasztner as a collaborator for his dealings with Eichmann in 1944. Gruenwald denounced Kasztner for having kept silent about German lies that the Hungarian Jews were only being resettled at Kenyermezo, in Hungary. In return, he was allowed to organize a special train to Switzerland, and place his family and friends on it. Further, Gruenwald claimed, Kasztner later protected SS Colonel Becher from hanging as a war criminal by claiming that he saved Jewish lives.
On June 21, 1955, Judge Benjamin Halevi found that there had been no libel of Kasztner, apart from the fact that he hadn't been motivated by monetary considerations. Later yet, Ben Hecht, a Zionist, and one of the most famous American writers of his day, wrote up the trial and its appeal in his book, Perfidy. Hecht quoted Halevi's declaration that
The Nazis' patronage of Kasztner, and their agreement to let him save six hundred prominent Jews, were part of the plan to exterminate the Jews. Kasztner was given a chance to add a few more to that number. The bait attracted him. The opportunity of rescuing prominent people appealed to him greatly. He considered the rescue of the most important Jews as a great personal success and a success for Zionism.
The Labor government remained loyal to their party comrade and appealed the case. Attorney-General Chaim Cohen put the fundamental issue before the Supreme Court:
Kasztner did nothing more and nothing less than was done by us in rescuing the Jews and bringing them to Palestine . . . You are allowed --in fact it is your duty -- to risk losing the many in order to save the few . . . It has always been our Zionist tradition to select the few out of many in arranging the immigration to Palestine. Are we therefore to be called traitors?
On March 3, 1957 Kasztner was gunned down by right-wing Zionist assassins. However the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case on January 17, 1958. It ruled, 5 to O, that Kasztner had perjured himself on Becher's behalf, But it concluded, 3 to 2, that he could not be legitimately considered a collaborator. The most forceful majority argument was presented by Judge Shlomo Chesin:
The question is not whether a man is allowed to kill many in order to save a few, or vice-versa. The question is altogether in another sphere and should be defined as follows: a man is aware that a whole community is awaiting its doom. He is allowed to make efforts to save a few, although part of his efforts involve concealment of truth from the many; or should he disclose the truth to the many though it is his best opinion that this way everybody will perish. I think the answer is clear. What good will the blood of the few bring if everyone is to perish? . . . There is no law, either national or international, which lays down the duties of a leader in an hour of emergency toward those who rely on leadership and are under his instructions.
Indeed the most important aspect of the trial was its full exposure of the working philosophy of the WZO throughout the Nazi era: the sanctification of the betrayal of the many in the interest of a selected immigration. Once we understand this, we can deal with Nathan Dror's letter.
The Nazis began taking the Jews of Slovakia in March 1942. Rabbi Michael Dov-Ber Weissmandel, a member of the Agudat Yisrael, an ultra-Orthodox political party, contacted Dieter Wisliceny, Eichmann's representative, and told him that he was in touch with the leaders of world Jewry. Would the Nazi take money for Slovakia's Jews? Money was paid and the surviving Jews were spared until 1944.
Weissmandel became one of the outstanding Jewish rescue figures during the Holocaust because he was the first to demand that the Allies bomb Auschwitz. His post-war book, Min HaMaitzer (From the Depths) written in Talmudic Hebrew, also tells of his further efforts to pay off the Nazis to save Jewish lives. Wisliceny took the matter up with Berlin and told the rabbi, in 1943, that he could have all the Jews in western Europe and the Balkans for $2 million in American money, then a substantial sum. Weissmandel sent a courier to Switzerland to try to get the money from Jewish organizations. The courier brought back a letter from Nathan Schwalb, the representative of the Hechalutz, a youth section of the Labor Party. Dror is Schwalb's Zionist, i.e., Hebrew, name. Weissmandel described the document:
There was another letter in the envelope, written in a strange foreign language and at first I could not decipher at all which language it was until I realized that this was Hebrew written in Roman letters, and written to Schwalb's friends in Pressburg (Bratislava) . . . It is still before my eyes, as if I had reviewed it a hundred and one times. This was the content of the letter: "Since we have the opportunity of this courier, we are writing to the group that they must constantly have before them that in the end the Allies will win. After their victory they will divide the world again between the nations, as they did at the end of the first world war. Then they unveiled the plan for the first step and now, at the war's end, we must do everything so that Eretz Yisroel will become the state of Israel, and important steps have already been taken in this direction. About the cries coming from your country, we should know that all the Allied nations are spilling much of their blood, and if we do not sacrifice any blood, by what right shall we merit coming before the bargaining table when they divide nations and lands at the war's end? Therefore it is silly, even impudent, on our part to ask these nations who are spilling their blood to permit their money into enemy countries in order to protect our blood -- for only with blood shall we get the land. But in respect to you, my friends, atem taylu, and for this purpose I am sending you money illegally with this messenger.
The letter startled rabbi Weissmandel, to say the least. He pondered over it many times:
After I had accustomed myself to this strange writing, I trembled, understanding the meaning of the first words which were "only with blood shall we attain land." But days and weeks went by, and I did not know the meaning of the last two words. Until I saw from something that happened that the words "atem taylu" were from "tiyul" (to walk which was their special term for "rescue.") In other words: you my fellow members, my 19 or 20 close friends, get out of Slovakia and save your lives and with the blood of the remainder --the blood of all the men, women, old and young and the sucklings -- the land will belong to us. Therefore, in order to save their lives it is a crime to allow money into enemy territory --but to save you beloved friends, here is money obtained illegally.
He went on:
"It is understood that I do not have these letters --for they remained there and were destroyed with everything else that was lost."
Weissmandel assured us that the dedicated Zionist rescue workers in Slovakia were appalled by Schwalb-Dror's letter. But it expressed the morbid thoughts of the rancid elements running the WZO: Instead of Zionism being the hope of the Jews, their blood was to be the salvation of Zionism.
Reasonable readers have seen for themselves that the ADL libeled me. But they may say that 'every movement has its lunatic fringe. Libelers are not reviewers. What do responsible Zionist historians have to say about Brenner and his charges?'
Walter Laqueur, the chairman of the International Research Council of the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University, devoted six pages to attacking me in the November 2, 1987 New Republic. (Again, I sent in a reply, but Martin Peretz has no honor and his magazine did not run it,) Laqueur insists that
Even if all his facts were correct, Brenner's book would not be a serious study of Zionism, any more than a collection of profiles in scurrility from Benedict Arnold to Al Capone would be a serious history of the United States.
Surely Capone wasn't the last American rogue! At any rate, after showing me to be the monster that I surely am, this Zionist defense attorney makes a few concessions concerning my charges:
"It is quite true that some Zionists should not have looked for Mussolini's support, even in the 1920s; they were grievously mistaken to do so . . . It is true, moreover, that German Zionists did not fully understand the meaning of Hitler when he came to power in 1933. Some of their comments and declarations make embarrassing reading 50 years later."
Laqueur wrote his plaidoyer for his movement's treachery before Schwalb-Dror's suit had been flung through the courtroom door. In the wake of that debacle for Zionism, his comments sound more than a bit odd:
"The story of one Nathan Schwalb . . . is absolutely crucial for the play . . . Still, something went very wrong with this star witness for the prosecution . . . Schwalb is alive . . . Thus, to their dismay, Allen and Brenner found themselves suddenly confronted with a libel action. Instead of refusing to change a single word in their manuscript, they have excised ten pages from Perdition. They must know that they could not possibly make their case in a court of law -- or indeed, in the court of public opinion."
In fact Laqueur was deliberately deceptive in this matter. On page 144 of his 1980 book, The Terrible Secret, the great historian himself had reported that Schwalb-Dror refused access to his files to scholars.
Robert Wistrich is a professor of modern Jewish History at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He devoted not a few words to denouncing me in his book, Between Redemption and Perdition. He
(W)ould claim that the falsifiers of the anti-Israeli Left who now rewrite the history of the Holocaust as a story of Nazi-Zionist 'collaboration' are no less dangerous than the neo-Nazi 'revisionists' and possibly more effective . . . (W)orks by Lenni Brenner, such as Zionism in the Age of the Dictators . . . are increasingly symptomatic of the times we live in.
Nevertheless he, like Laqueur, has to make a few admissions that some of my charges are quite true:
In my view the entire Jewish leadership of that generation -- including the Zionists -- failed the test of the times and no useful purpose is served by covering this up. Nor can it be denied, given that the major priority of the Zionist movement at the time was indeed building Palestine, that the tragedy of Diaspora Jewry was inevitably given less attention than it deserved. Equally, one can make a reasonable case that Zionists did not fight antisemitism before 1939 with the appropriate vigour, that some Zionists favoured the principle of racial separateness, and that others wanted to develop a 'special relationship' with the Nazis for opportunistic or other reasons.
Readers must realize that not one responsible historian grants a flyspeck of credence to even a syllable of any Holocaust revisionist's scribblings. But even though Foxman and Caplan insist that my writings are "another aspect of Holocaust 'revisionist' thinking," two star Zionist historians confessed that a raft of my accusations are --alas! -- all too true. So much for the Anti-Defamation League's crude attempt to defame me.
III - The squalid history of the ADL
Even now, after I've adduced overwhelming evidence that the Zionist movement failed European Jewry in its fatal hour, and that therefore the ADL has libeled me, readers may ask a bewildered question: Why is the ADL doing this? That is because the public is so appalled at what the Nazis did to the Jews that it usually doesn't think to ask what the ADL did for the Jews. Additionally, most people identify the ADL with its contemporary reports on anti-Semitism. It appears to be a bone fide civil rights watchdog. But it did nothing for the Jews in the Nazi era and it has always been an ultra-rightist nest.
The ADL is an autonomous branch of the B'nai B'rith (The Sons of the Covenant), an international fraternal order, established on October 13, 1843, with the declared "mission of uniting Israelites in the work of promoting their highest interests and those of humanity." The first challenge confronting the group was the slavery question, which it evaded in the interest of maintaining unity between northern and southern Jews. The ADL itself was set up in 1913, the year that a Jew, Leo Frank, was lynched in Georgia. Its role in fighting anti-Semitism in the years before Hitler came to power was pathetic. Deborah Moore's B'nai B'rith and the Challenge of Ethnic Leadership says that
"(T)he ADL's internal-education section (was) devoted to changing the behavior of Jews perceived to be unethical in the eyes of Americans . . . In 1928, commenting on a lynching in Illinois, the (B'nai B'rith) Magazine had admitted that "when another kind of a man gets hanged, we feel those revulsions that are natural at the sight of a fellow-being going to his doom in the flush of life. But when we read of a Jew being hanged, we discover ourselves feeling resentful, not towards the hanging but towards the erring Jew."
The Magazine had concluded that "the sinning of the Jew is counted by men not alone against himself but against his people likewise."
A booklet, This is B'nai B'rith, published in 1943 by the organization, listed very few activities for those years, with the main ADL accomplishment being to effect
a profound change in the treatment of Jews in vaudeville. Jewish comedians were loath in some instances to correct their caricature of their fellow Jews, but earnest efforts on the part of the League in presenting the social aspects of the problem resulted in pronounced modification of the objectionable "humor."
This is B'nai B'rith talked vaguely about the ADL's anti-Nazi career in the years between Hitler's taking power and the war:
In the years of persecution and propaganda that followed in the wake of 1933, the A.D.L., through its program of research, widespread fact dissemination, neutralization of libels and a systematic campaign of education for democracy to counteract the effects of un-American movements, was able to make a major contribution to the common struggle against anti-Semitism.
The booklet couldn't say more because the ADL and B'nai B'rith role was disgraceful. The spontaneous reaction of American Jews to the Nazis' ascendency to power was to boycott German goods. But there were those who opposed a boycott. These worthies confined themselves to charity efforts for German Jewry and its refugees. Not least of these do-nothings was the B'nai B'rith. The B'nai B'rith Magazine ran an editorial in its May, 1933 issue. Be sure you are sitting down when you read this:
Criticism is heard: B'nai B'rith did not join the public protests against the German-Jewish tragedy! . . . The members of this organization have cause to be proud of their affiliation with a Jewish body that obscured its own prestige in order to serve its German brethren the better . . . With the Hitler government threatening reprisals against Jews, should B'nai B'rith have rushed forward with loud protests? . . . Even those who were at first hot for public protest have come to see that discretion is the better part of valor in an hour when lives are in the balance . . . As for B'nai B'rith, it feels that its action in this crisis will make a worthy chapter in its history.
Samuel Untermeyer, leader of the boycott movement, explained the stance of elements like B'nai B'rith and the American Jewish Committee (the parent of today's Commentary magazine, which the B'nai B'rith always bracketed itself with, and which also opposed boycotting Hitler). Boycott, he said, in 1933, conjures up to them images of force and illegality, such as have on occasions in the past characterized struggles between labor unions and their employers. As these timid souls are capitalists and employers, the word and all that it implies is hateful to their ears.
The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust article on the B'nai B'rith reports that even after the Nazis closed down the organization in Germany, in 1937, the president of the order "remained opposed to public protest and boycott, and still believed that "quiet diplomacy" could help the Jews of Germany." The Encyclopedia goes on:
B'nai B'rith, fearful of arousing antisemitism in the United States -- like most American Jews at the time -- did not challenge the quota system of the 1924 Immigration Act and did not try to arouse public opinion against the administration's policy of not fully utilizing even the quotas provided by that act.
Nor did the ADL do anything of any significance in the fight against the German-American Bund and its home-grown allies, the followers of the Catholic clerical-fascist, Father Coughlin, or the KKK. Nathan Belth's A Promise to Keep, published in 1979 by the ADL, mentions a pamphlet on Coughlin, published in 1939 by a coalition of Jewish groups, including the ADL. It then relates that "The League and the (American Jewish) Committee . . . had as a matter of policy and tactics been inclined to maintain low profiles in public." When the Bund staged a rally in New York's Madison Square Garden on February 20, 1939, the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party called a counter-demonstration. Fifty thousand Jews and others fought a five hour street battle with the cops, who protected the Jew-haters. But the night belonged to the demonstrators. The 20,000 Nazis and Coughlanites would have been mauled if the police weren't present. The ADL did absolutely nothing to fight the Nazis that night. Indeed it was never prepared to fight the enemies of the Jews.
IV - The ADL and McCarthyism
Given the ADL's bankruptcy during the Hitler era, it is hardly surprising that it continued on as an integral part of the witchhunting apparatus that emerged in America at the onset of the cold war. Arnold Forster, the ADL's counsel, wrote about this morbid episode in his book, Square One.
In 1956 the Fund for the Republic issued a report on blacklisting in Hollywood and TV. It described how the victims of the right-wing "security clearance system" were either 'rehabilitated' or driven out of the industry. An unnamed "public relations expert" is quoted on the process. Forster acknowledged that he was the expert and reprinted the relevant passages in his book:
If a man . . . finds his way to me . . . (and) I am convinced that he is not a Communist, or if he has been a Communist, has had a change of heart, I ask him whether he has talked to the FBI. If he hasn't, I tell him the first thing he must do is go to them and tell them everything he knows . . .
The public relations expert concluded: 'A guy who is in trouble, even if he has a good case for himself, will stay dead unless he finds someone like me who can lead him through the jungle of people who have to be satisfied. He has to persuade those people one by one. Usually he finds his way to a lawyer and that comes a cropper, or he finds a public relations man or press agent who doesn't have the confidence of the 'clearance men,' and he's only wasting his time.
Forster would take the hapless actor to right-wing journalists like Victor Reisel or Fred Woltman for "affidavits" and then go to CBS and try to get his "boy" a job. Square One was written after McCarthyism had been thoroughly discredited and Forster made it look like he was an unwilling collaborator with the witchhunters. But the truth breaks out through the eyes of a cat, as they say. A Communist magazine, Jewish Life, uncovered an internal ADL memo, dated July 3, 1953, and ran it in their September, 1953 issue. It dealt with a conference that took place in the office of the House Un-American Activities Committee, on July 2, 1953. Herman Edelsberg, the memo's author, was there, as were Washington representatives of the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish War Veterans. The question before them was how HUAC should deal with hostile Jewish Communist witnesses. Edelsberg's report says that they made the following proposals to Harold Velde, HUAC's chair:
The files of the ADL and AJC should be consulted for information about such witnesses. Where responsible Jewish organizations had repudiated the witness or the line he peddles, that fact should be put in the record before the witness sounds off. In such cases, it would be most unlikely that the newspapers would play up the witness' charges against the Committee . . . The Committee staff handling such witnesses should be familiar with our analyses of the Communists' studied tactics of exploiting charges of persecution and discrimination. The witnesses should be confronted with material from ADL's report, The Troublemakers, and our two pamphlets on Communism . . . Velde and counsel agreed then and there that in the future, Committee investigators would be sent to the ADL and AJC for material on prospective witnesses. (That would be a good opportunity to make specific suggestions on procedure.) . . . We left on the most friendly basis. My colleagues and I were heartened by the understandings achieved.
Witchhunting began to decline after Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin was censured by the Senate in 1954, for trying to red-bait the US army. Forster claimed that
(T)he senator had built himself enough of a record to convince me he was bad medicine. Not that the League itself, although recognizing the evil in the man, had yet become sufficiently resolute to attack McCarthy frontally. We were suffering from the same fear of him and his destructive, national movement, that affected so many others. ADL had been treading cautiously about him while demonstrating its opposition to his frenetic crusade. It was not until 1956, when Ben Epstein and I released our book, Cross-Currents, that we openly attacked McCarthy himself.
V - ADL witch-hunting after McCarthy
McCarthyism may have declined but the ADL's hatred of the left most certainly didn't. On February 22, 1967, the New York Times reported that the Institute for International Labor Research, led by Norman Thomas, the most prominent figure in the Socialist Party, had received $1,048,940 between 1961 and 1963 from the CIA. Later, in the July 1982 Commentary, Sidney Hook revealed that Thomas had "telephoned Allen Dulles of the CIA and requested a contribution" for their American Committee for Cultural Freedom in the mid-1950s. From 1957 through 1962 Irwin Suall was the National Secretary of the SP. Today he is the "chief factfinder," i.e., the head spy, for the ADL.
I met Suall in 1957. I was a member of another socialist group which was merging with the SP. Of course we had no idea about Thomas's ties with the CIA. I left the SP in 1959 and was in California when the Times broke the Thomas story, and I didn't see it. Therefore I suspected nothing when I encountered Suall in the Lion's Head Tavern in Greenwich Village in the early '70s. (I believe the year was 1971.)
He spotted me at the bar, called out my name, and triumphantly announced that I was "with the National Association for Irish Justice," the support group for the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. He told me that he was the ADL's chief fact-finder and explained that he knew all about the NAIJ because he had files on the American tours of Ian Paisley, a right-wing Protestant fanatic, who was the most vehement foe of civil rights for Catholics. Whenever he came here he associated with our own right-wing Protestant screwballs, some of them anti-Semites.
We two old friends drank the night into morning when I suggested that he let me see his Paisley file. NAIJ could use it to show the Irish Catholic community here where Paisley fit into right-wing politics in this country. "I can't do that. You have enemies of Israel in your organization." At that time I had little interest in Israel. I knew that we had various leftists in the NAIJ, who were anti-Zionist, but the topic of Israel never came up in our pro-Irish movement. I explained to him that people would think it rather odd if we asked prospective members how they stood on Israel. That didn't matter. Enemies of Israel are enemies of Israel and that was that.
Suall then began to rattle off intimate details about NAIJ, including the name of a Communist who had just started working for us. I realized he had a spy in my organization. We knew the British, Irish and American governments automatically put agents into our ranks. Therefore we were discreet when we did anything illegal under US law. But we had a policy of not starting a witchhunt for such spies because that only tends to make everyone into paranoids, and that can kill a movement. I figured out who Suall's mole was. However, as I couldn't prove my suspect was Suall's operative, and the certain presence of more important spies wasn't affecting us, I prudently didn't mention this singular conversation to anyone.
In fact the ADL even boasts that it spies on leftists. In their 1974 book, The New Anti-Semitism, Forster and Benjamin Epstein brazenly announced that ADL agents attended conventions closed to the general public:
The ADL has traditionally viewed close monitoring of extremist activities as part of its obligation to the Jewish and American communities. Therefore, its representatives often attend open meetings, conventions, and conferences of extremist groups (left wing and right wing) to keep abreast of what the groups are doing.
The two authors rationalized ADL infiltration of the Socialist Workers Party:
The SWP . . . take(s) umbrage when its anti-Israel, anti-Zionist extremism is called anti-Semitism. Its domestic political course has been clearly anti-Jewish . . . Although its spokesmen have been careful to avoid the use of crude anti-Semitic phraseology, the SWP's program and activities . . . have been totally hostile . . . whenever Jews have been under attack from anti-Semites who happen to be black, the SWP has consistently joined the fray against the Jews.
As we know from the Bund episode, the SWP believes in busting up Nazi rallies. It is careful not to utilize anti-Semitic phrases. It welcomes Jews into its leadership. Therefore, isn't it plain that "its domestic course has been clearly anti-Jewish"? That charge from an organization which did next door to nothing vs. Hitler, wins the all-time chutzpah prize.
The magnitude of ADL spying on progressive movements became public knowledgein 1993 when the San Francisco papers revealed that Tom Gerard, a local cop (and ex-CIA man) illegally gave police information to Roy Bullock, Suall'sman in SF. Further police sleuthing revealed that they spied on a mass of groups, from Nazis through to Armenian nationalists, the American Friends Service Committee, the Mobilization for Peace, Jobs and Justice, the Bay Area's broad-spectrum peace marchers, and the ANC and the anti-apartheid movement. The two also spied directly on these last for BOSS, South Africa's secret police.
As things stand, Gerard has pled no contest to a charge of illegal access to police computers. He got three years probation, a $2,500 fine and 45 days on the sheriff's work crew. The ADL made a 'we didn't do it, but we won't do it again' deal with the DA. It agreed to an injunction not to use illegal methods in its 'monitoring' of the entire political universe. Foxman said that, rather than go to trial, where they would certainly be found innocent, of course, ADL settled because "continuing with an investigation over your head for months and years leads some to believe there is something wrong." The arrangement prevents prosecution of Bullock.
In spite of the DA's slap-on-the-wrist deal, the documentation of Bullock's activities provided by the police when they sought a warrant to search the ADL offices in SF and Los Angeles, was extensive. The ADL claims that Bullock was a free-lance informer and that his activities for the apartheid regime were unknown to them. But an FBI report on a January 26, 1993 interview with Bullock takes up a letter found in his computer files, "prepared for transmission to the South Africans." It read "during an extended conversation with two FBI agents" in March 1990, they asked "why do you think South African agents are coming to the West Coast?"
"Did I know any agents," they finally asked? . . . I replied that a meeting had been arranged, in confidence, by the ADL which wanted information on radical right activities in SA and their American connections. To that end I met an agent at Rockefeller Center cafeteria.
The FBI report says that "Bullock commented that the TRIP.DBX letter was a very 'damning' piece of evidence. He said he had forgotten it was in his computer." Of course he hastened to tell the FBI that "his statements to the FBI that the ADL had set up his relationship with the South Africans were untrue."
It is far more likely that Bullock was telling the truth in March 1990 and lying in January 1993. Apparently the FBI came to him on another matter in 1990 and surprised him with their questions about the South Africans. In 1993, Bullock met the feds in his lawyers' office. It is reasonable to presume that they had told him what to say, and what not to say. Certainly he knew that if he wanted ADL assistance in his troubles with the FBI concerning the South Africans, he would have to claim that they had nothing to do with his South African ties.
We must also look at this situation from the ADL's perspective. In 1993 it had the same access to these FBI reports as anyone else. It then knew that he had implicated them with Pretoria. Why didn't they repudiate him then for daring to lie about them in such a grave affair? And, for that matter, why didn't they repudiate him for trafficking with the apartheid regime, which they claimed to oppose? Could it be that they didn't dare do so? If they dumped him, he would have an incentive to tell the FBI everything he knew about their illegal activities, regarding the South Africans, and/or any ADL involvement in Israeli spying and other criminal activities there.
Robert Friedman, known for his factual reliability when writing on Jewish matters, reported that "Suall later told the FBI that 'he didn't think dealing with South African intelligence was different than dealing with any other police agency,' according to a law enforcement source." At any rate, the November 17, 1993 Daily News Bulletin, an organ of the Zionist movement's Jewish Telegraphic Agency, reported that, after the settlement with the SFDA, "the ADL continues to work with Bullock, according to Abraham Foxman."
Israel was South Africa's intimate military ally, selling weaponry to the masters of apartheid in the face of a UN arms embargo. And the ADL's own public stance was so opposed to the African National Congress that it stretches credulity to the breaking point for anyone to think that they didn't know that Bullock was working with the South Africans. When he told the FBI that the ADL put him in contact with the South Africans, he expected them to believe him, because the world knew that Israel, the ADL's political holy land, was Pretoria's ally.
The ADL Bulletin for May 1986 ran an article by Nathan Perlmutter and David Evanier, "The African National Congress: A Closer Look," which revealed the organization's intense hatred of the movement leading the struggle in South Africa. The piece started off with a pious "self-evident stipulation that apartheid is racist and dehumanizing." But, it then went on,
(T)his is not to suggest closing our eyes to what may emerge once apartheid is gone . . . We must distinguish between those who will work for a humane, democratic, pro-western South Africa and those who are totalitarian, anti-humane, anti-democratic, anti-Israeli and anti-American.
The article went on to document what everyone already knew. The Soviet Union supported the ANC. The ANC backed the PLO as fellow colonized people. Then came the moral to the story:
The fall of South Africa to such a Soviet oriented and Communist influenced force would be a severe setback to the United States, whose defense industry relies heavily on South Africa's wealth of strategic minerals . . . The survival of freedom in South Africa will be possible only if the forces of violence on the far left and of racial violence on the far right are defeated by the democratic forces of moderation.
Those forces of moderation were -- didn't you know? -- the apartheid regime itself: "The US State Department", i.e., Reagan, said that "more positive changes have taken place in South Africa in the last five years than in the previous 300."
For propagandistic reasons, Israel had to make it look like it was against apartheid and supported responsible opposition to it. So it openly patronized Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, head of the Inkatha Freedom Party and its death squads. When he toured here in 1992, Israel got the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to host him at their New York office. They knew that, according to the June 12, 1992 DNB, "many observers . . . say the violence among blacks reflects collusion between the South African security forces and Inkatha aimed at disabling the ANC." Yet, according to Kenneth Jacobson, the ADL's director of international affairs, there was "nothing for us to feel guilty about. He's a man with a point of view, and that should be heard." The Mr. Nice Guy of South African politics declared himself a free-market freedom-fightin' kind of fella and "not a friend of Gadhafi or Yasir Arafat. All these are friends of the ANC."
The ADL thought so highly of their 1986 anti-ANC tirade that they sent it to every member of the US Congress! And even after Bullock was exposed as specifically reporting to the South Africans on an LA meeting for Chris Hani of the ANC, Foxman fanatically defended their venomous hatred of South Africa's liberators. The Northern California Jewish Bulletin for May 7, 1993 described how
Foxman, seeming like a general dressing down his troops, marched into the Jewish Bulletin office . . . where he lambasted critics of the ADL, speaking angrily of a conspiracy and at times fuming as he turned several shades of red . . . "People are very upset about the (files on the) ANC," he agrees. "At the time we exposed the ANC, they were Communist. They were violent, they were anti-Semitic, they were pro-PLO and they were anti-Israel. You're going to tell me I don't have the legitimacy to find out who they were consorting with."
Time hasn't been kind to Foxman. The ANC runs its country and is a model of ethnic and religious tolerance. It never was anti-Semitic and today there are seven Jewish ANCers in the Pretoria parliament. Foxman was -- and is -- exactly what the Jewish Bulletin's journalist described: a steam-coming-out-of-his-ears right-wing ranter.
VI - The ADL and the affirmative action question
As many readers well know, whole Canadian forests have been chopped down in recent years to provide newsprint for articles on Black anti-Semitism. Such pieces frequently begin with a nostalgic look back at the good ol' 'Black-Jewish alliance' of the early '60s when the ADL was part of the great -- dare I say it? -- multicultural coalitions that marched behind Martin Luther King.
Such articles usually then turn into tales of Black ingratitude. In life the Jewish establishment was only part of such an alliance until the Black movement began to call for affirmative action quotas, and the left-wing of the movement began to support the Palestinians as fellow oppressed. From then on the ADL has been a fanatic opponent of Black liberation. Jonathan Kaufman's Broken Alliance tells of how Jack Greenberg, long-time head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, came to see the ADL:
As legal cases involving affirmative action began to appear in the courts in the early 1970s, the Legal Defense Fund began filing lawsuits . . . One of the first cases involved a challenge to the New York prison system, which had never promoted a black correction officer above the entry level . . . The Legal Defense Fund sued successfully . . . When the case was appealed, Greenberg was stunned to discover that the Anti-Defamation League had filed a brief opposing the affirmative action plan . . . He did not know officials at the ADL well. But he . . . called several of them up . . . (Eventually) Greenberg felt some officials of the ADL, the most vociferous opponents of affirmative action, had become "haters."
In its most notorious anti-affirmative action campaign, the ADL was one of a gaggle of rightwing Jewish groups, plus several gentile "unmeltable ethnic" outfits, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Chamber of Commerce and other free-market freedom-fightin' guys, who submitted amici curiae briefs on Allen Bakke's behalf when he sued the University of California at Davis for setting aside 16 seats in its medical school for minorities. In 1978 the Supreme Court ruled that the school's plan discriminated against whites.
In the August 1985 issue of Commentary, Harvard sociology professor Nathan Glazer gave us the "pragmatic considerations" behind the Jewish establishment's undying hatred of quotas:
Jews were already "over-represented" in the institutions that were becoming battlefields . . . If it were to be generally conceded that each ethnic/racial group should be represented proportionately . . . what would happen to the over-represented?
There is no doubt that Glazer, who is intimate with the Jewish establishment, was referring to the ADL, amongst the others, when he wrote the above. And in fact the ADL does give a distinctly 'Jewish' spin to its opposition to quotas. The December, 1978 ADL Bulletin quotes Nathan Perlmutter, Foxman's predecessor as National Director, on quotas:
The message of the 1960s civil rights movement, he explains, was to be color blind, to judge a person on his individual merits. "Now, guided and abetted by government agencies, there is massive backsliding to quotas, to evaluating a person on such extraneous factors as race. The simple incontrovertible fact is that quotas in favor of one group, by definition, means quotas against another group. That's the very essence of the Nuremberg Laws."
According to the November, 1979 ADL Bulletin, the ADL "submitted a 'friend of the court' brief" in a case, Fullilove v. Kreps,
concerned with the constitutionality of the Federal Public Works Employment Act of 1977, which provides that no grant for public works shall be made unless the applicant assures . . . that at least 10 percent of each grant sum be expended for "minority" business enterprises . . . (The) ADL . . . opposes this quota and questions the legality of laws which establish governmentally-designated and protected groups. "Stamping the imprimatur of the Federal government upon a particular racial or ethnic definition, and granting and withholding benefits to individuals accordingly," our brief points out, "calls to mind notorious examples of attempts by other governments to define racial and ethnic groups, such as the Nuremberg laws in the Third Reich defining a 'Jew'."
People get sent to mental institutions for a lot less than this. The notion that a law, doubtlessly supported by a majority of congressional Democrats, designed to bring a small measure of economic justice to Blacks, Spanish-speakers, Orientals, Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts, was really no better than Nazi anti-Jewish legislation, takes my breath away. The idea that affirmative action quotas in favor of minorities, might be used, some day in the future, as a pretext to discriminate against Jews, is a notion that hasn't occurred to anyone outside the Jewish establishment There were Jews among the congressional majorities that voted in every affirmative action law. Surely no such scheme was thought to be sanctioned by them. Were the gentiles in those congresses, black or white, even remotely contemplating discrimination against Jews? Of course not! The Nazi laws were measures taken against a minority hated by the German government. American affirmative action laws are policies projected by a government with a white majority in favor of minorities, Jews are affected only insofar as they are overwhelmingly white. And, of course, affirmative action has actually benefited Jews. Glazer points out that
(F)emales were one of the groups designated as beneficiaries of affirmative action. Thus . . . one could argue that Jewish women were as much helped by affirmative action as Jewish men were hurt, or helped even more than Jewish men were hurt.
Arguments utilizing previous discrimination against Jews to oppose present proposals to redress past discrimination against America's ethnic minorities, and women, are ideological self-deceptions, at best, and sophistries at worst. They are designed to put a pseudo-progressive gloss on efforts to preserve the economic status quo. And, as affirmative action in favor of women stands or falls with similar policies towards Blacks and other minorities, such specious reasoning is a razor against the interest of the majority of Jews, who, as with all other groups, are majority female.
VII - Yo! Abe! Make me rich and famous, not just famous
Since one of the most important things we learn from the past is that most people don't learn from the past, I must automatically presume that at least some of my readers will still say, even after this obviously factual recounting of the ADL's record, that, whatever its past sins, it performs a valuable service in exposing some anti-Semites. But its reactionary politics constantly leads it to libel and lunacy, so much so that I must confess that I celebrated when I discovered Foxman's attack on me. It meant that I certified as part of the intellectual elite.
Surely the most hilarious of the ADL's cockeyed accusations were uttered by Forster and Epstein in their book:
Film cartoons - like the the X-rated Fritz the Cat which . . . had a tasteless synagogue sequence . . . contributed to the atmosphere of anti-Jewish denigration, along with anti-Jewish stereotyping found in such full-length 1972 feature films as Woody Allen's Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Such Good Friends, and Made for Each Other in addition, of course, to Portnoy . . . Capping and capitalizing on the vogue for sick "ethnic" humor and dehumanization was . . . The National Lampoon . . . October 1972. A major item was a mock comic book entitled "The Ventures of Zimmerman," a put-down on folksinger Bob Dylan, drawn with Jewish features, blue Yarmulke, and portrayed as a scheming, avaricious, money-hungry "superman" type who poses as a simple idealistic folksinger . . . The mock cover . . . bore a "seal" reading "Approved by the Elders of Zion" . . . Are the editors of Lampoon anti-Semitic? Probably not. But they have made a signal contribution to the perpetuation of those destructive stereotypes - like the Stuermer cartoons so intimately associated with the annihilation of European Jewry.
For my immediate purpose of defending myself, a Jew, against a libelous accusation of being a Holocaust denier, I call your attention to the fact that at least two of the people accused of contributing to the atmosphere of anti-Jewish denigration were Jews, Woody Allen and Philip Roth, two of the greatest comic talents of our age. But frankly I must say that comparing a Lampoon spoof to the Hitler regime's most virulent Jew-hating rag is easily the maddest thing I've ever seen in any ADL production.
You didn't know that Spike Lee is an anti-Semite? Well then, you just are not as smart as one Abraham Foxman. Here is the Forward for August 10, 1990:
Filmmaker Spike Lee's portrayal of two Jewish jazz club owners in the new film "Mo' Better Blues" is being called anti-Semitic by . . . the Anti-Defamation League . . . The two-dimensional depiction of the two brothers, named Moe and Josh Flatbush, who appear in brief scenes throughout the movie, was sharply criticized by Abraham Foxman . . . "Spike Lee's characterization of Moe and Josh Flatbush as greedy an unscrupulous club owners dredges up an age-old and dangerous form of anti-Semitic stereotyping."
Spike Lee isn't the kind of person to take that kind of crap from anyone, and he replied to the charge in a New York Times op-ed:
I'm not a racist; I'm not a bigot; I am not an anti-Semite. What I try to do with all my characters is offer what I feel are honest portraits of individuals with both faults and endearing characteristics . . . I challenge anyone to tell me why I can't portray two club owners who happen to be Jewish and who exploit the Black jazz musicians who work for them. All Jewish club owners are not like this, that's true, but these two are . . . I'm an artist and I stand behind all my work, including my characters, Moe and Josh Flatbush. As of now, this matter is closed for me.
I have presented more than enough evidence for any serious reader to grasp the base character of both the ADL and the Zionist movement. Therefore it is time for me to close as well. I will do so with a quote, from a Zionist writer's article in The New Republic, a pro-Zionist publication:
(W)hile ever growing numbers of Jews believe anti-Semitism in America is rising to crisis proportions, by nearly every available measure it is actually on the decline . . . In private, some Jewish agency staffers insist the alarmist tone set by a few national Jewish agencies, mainly for fund-raising purposes, is a key cause of Jewish anxiety. Fingers point most often at the ADL and the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, both of which specialize in mass mailings warning of impending doom and urging donations. "People don't give if you tell them everything's o.k.," says a cynical staffer at one of the smaller agencies. People give generously to the Wiesenthal Center and the ADL.
J. J. Goldberg concludes by saying that "maybe it's time for the leadership to start leading, and tell their public the truth." But of course they won't. Therefore I ask my readers to help me expose these incurable frauds. Now that you have read this critique of the ADL, pass it along to the general public, Jew and gentile alike. And let me thank you, in advance, for your time and trouble in this regard.
This article was first published in a pamphlet by the same title in the USA in 1993 , is reproduced with the kind permission of Lenni Brenner.
© Lenni Brenner, 2002
1 Abraham Foxman, "Holocaust Denial: The Growing Danger," Dimensions, vol. 8, 1994, p. 14.
2 Marc Caplan, Hitler's Apologists: The Anti-Semitic Propaganda of Holocaust "Revisionism," p. 51.
3 Eric Breindel, "The Price of Rescue," New Republic, February 18, 1985, pp. 39-41.
4 Fall/Winter 1984 Books and Tapes of Revisionist History.
5 Letter from Institute for Historical Review, March 8,1985.
6 Letter to Institute for Historical Review, April 11, 1985.
7 Alex Cockburn, "Cockburn Replies," Nation, August 31, 1985, p. 130.
8 David Cesarani, "Back To Perdition," Jewish Chronicle (London), July 3, 1987, p. 26.
9 Stuart Hood, "Questions of Guilt and Taboo," Guardian (London), July 10, 1987.
10 Julian Kossoff, "Full Version of 'Perdition' to be published," Jewish Chronicle (London), November 27, 1992, p. 8.
11 Lucy Dawidowicz (ed.), A Holocaust Reader, pp. 150-155.
12 David Yisraeli, The Palestine Problem in German Politics 1889-1945 (Hebrew) Bar-Ilan University, Appendix (German): "Geheime Kommandosache Bericht," pp. 301-302.
13 Heinz Hohne, The Order of the Death's Head, p. 337.
14 Klaus Polkehn, "The Secret Contacts: Zionism and Nazi Germany 1933-41," Journal of Palestine Studies, Spring 1976, p. 75.
15 "Dr. von Weisl Believes in Fascism," World Jewry (London), June 12, 1936, p. 12.
16 "Supplemento al no. 8 di L'Idea Sionista," March 1936, p. 2.
17 "Grundzuege des Vorschlages der Nationalen Militaerischen Organisation in Palastina (Irgun Zwei Leumi) betreffend der Loesung der juedischen Frage Europas und der aktiven Teilnahme der NMO am Kriege an der Seite Deutschlands," Yisraeli, pp., 315-317.
18 Christopher Walker, "Shamir Defends Terrorist Past," The Times (London), October 21, 1983, p. 24.
19 Gerold Frank, The Deed, pp. 91-93, 124, 139.
20 Yitzhak Shamir, Summing Up, p. 31.
21 Ibid., p. 34.
22 Ben Hecht, Perfidy, p. 180.
23 Ibid., pp. 194-195, 268.
24 Ibid., pp. 270-271.
25 Michael Dov-Ber Weissmandel, Min HaMaitzer, p. 92.
26 Ibid., p. 93.
27 Ibid., p. 93.
28 Walter Laqueur, "The Anti-Zionism of Fools," New Republic, November 2, 1987, p. 34.
29 Ibid., p. 34.
30 Ibid., p. 37.
31 Robert Wistrich, Between Redemption and Perdition, p. 22.
32 Ibid., p. 244.
33 Bernard Postal (ed.), This is B'nai B'rith, p. 7.
34 Deborah Moore, B'nai B'rith and the Challenge of Ethnic Leadership, p. 181.
35 This is B'nai B'rith, p. 61.
36 Ibid., p. 20.
37 "B'nai B'rith and the German-Jewish Tragedy," B'nai B'rith Magazine, May, 1938, p. 227.
38 Edwin Black, The Transfer Agreement, p. 277.
39 "B'nai B'rith," Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, vol. 1, p. 223.
40 Nathan Belth, A Promise to Keep, p. 141.
41 Arnold Forster, Square One, pp. 164-166.
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Lenni Brenner Letter in Commentary - 1997
"Only another Isaac Bashevis Singer could concoct a political libel involving such singular Jewish details"
TO THE EDITOR: Hillel Halkin's favorable review of Shabtai Teveth's Ben-Gurion and the Holocaust [January] is a defense of the indefensible. Among many sinners against Labor Zionism Mr. Halkin lists Jim Allen. Allen's maleficium was to quote in his play, Perdition, a letter written to Labor Zionist rescue workers in Slovakia by Nathan Schwalb, the movement's agent in Switzerland. After the war, Schwalb's letter was published by Rabbi Michael Dov-Ber Weissmandel in his memoir, Min HaMaitzer ("From the Depths"). Allen had found the letter in my book, Zionism in the Age of Dictators.
Under Zionist pressure, the play was canceled before production, generating massive publicity. Allen then determined to have it published, together with a commentary by me. Suddenly Schwalb (going under his Hebrew name, Dror) sued Allen for libel. Though the suit was eventually dismissed for lack of evidence, under Britain's archaic libel laws, Schwalb was able to get an interlocutory injunction blocking publication of the letter. When the book appeared, I had the strange experience for an American of seeing a blank in my essay where I had quoted the letter.
Mr. Halkin discusses but never quotes a syllable of this letter that he says "never existed." So that readers may determine the truth for themselves, here is Weissmandel's reconstruction of it, preceded by his introductory comments:
There was another letter in the envelope, written in a strange foreign language and at first I could not decipher at all which language it was until I realized that this was Hebrew written in Roman letters, and written to Schwalb's friends in Pressburg. It took up a page and a half. It is still before my eyes, as if I had reviewed it 101 times.
This was the content of the letter:
Since we have the opportunity of this courier, we are writing to the group that they must constantly have before them that in the end the Allies will win. After their victory they will divide the world again between the nations, as they did at the end of World War I. Then they unveiled the plan for the first step and now, at the war's end, we must do everything so that Eretz Israel will become the state of Israel, and important steps have already been taken in this direction.
About the cries coming from your country, we should know that all the Allied nations are spilling much of their blood, and if we do not sacrifice any blood, by what right shall we merit coming before the bargaining table when they divide nations and lands at the war's end? Therefore it is silly, even impudent, on our part to ask these nations who are spilling their blood to permit their money into enemy countries in order to protect our blood--for rak b'dam ["only with blood"] shall we get the land.
This is in respect to everybody--but in respect to you, my friends, atem taylu, and for this purpose I am sending you money illegally with this messenger.
Rabbi Weissmandel pondered over the note:
After I had accustomed myself to this strange writing, I trembled, understanding the meaning of the first words which were "only with blood shall we attain land." But days and weeks went by, and I did not know the meaning of the last two words until I saw from something that happened that the words atem taylu were from tiyul ["to walk"], which was their special term for "rescue." In other words: you my fellow members, my nineteen or twenty close friends, get out of Slovakia and save your lives and with the blood of the remainder--the blood of all the men, women, old and young, and the sucklings--the land will belong to us. Therefore, in order to save their lives it is a crime to allow money into enemy territory, but to save you, beloved friends, here is money obtained illegally.
It is understood that I do not have these letters - for they remained there and were destroyed with everything else that was lost.
In Mr. Halkin's words, Teveth believes Weissmandel made this up "in order to cope with a haunting guilt" because he escaped from a death train while his family perished. If true, the rabbi should be awarded a posthumous Nobel Prize for literature. Because only another Isaac Bashevis Singer could concoct a political libel involving such singular Jewish details - a letter in Hebrew in Latin script, and agonizing over the conjugation of a Hebrew verb - which give the story its distinctive credibility. In fact, the note was in keeping with Labor Zionist thinking. After Kristallnacht, London, hoping to ease pressure for increased immigration to Palestine, proposed admitting thousands of Jewish children into Britain. David Ben-Gurion, speaking on December 7, 1938, put Zionism above the lives of Jews: If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children but also the history of the people of Israel. Weissmandel deceived no one. The ugly truth is that the movement that produced Ben-Gurion after Kristallnacht produced Schwalb during the Holocaust.
LENNI BRENNER, New York, USA