Sept. 20, 2012 — I wrote the email below to Paul Greenberg after hearing from a friend the day before, a Palestinian professor upset that he had been targeted for writing about German bishops who had dared use the word “apartheid” to describe Israeli treatment of Palestinians. Without reading Greenberg’s editorial (in the comments following), I wrote the following to my friend:
I can imagine that in Mr. Greenberg’s mind, any modern comparison to the Holocaust is tantamount to its diminution/dilution and therefore an insult to the Jews’ well-documented suffering. Also well-documented is the rage provoked by exposing the hypocrisy of Jewish nationalists. Just ask Jesus…
If Greenberg didn’t like your comments, I’m sure he’s thrilled with fellow Jew Norman Finkelstein, who equates the Holocaust with an “industry” designed to rake in billions of dollars in perpetuity. Arabs are supposed to get over what Israel did to them 60 years ago (and continue to do to them) but woe unto anyone who dares suggest it’s time to move on from the admittedly horrific events of just a few years earlier.
I suppose that what really made the spittle fly was that the comments re.Israel’s Nazi-like and apartheid-like rape and pillage ofPalestineand her neighbors came on the heels of a visit to that holy-of-holies for the Holocaust industry, Yad Vashem. By Germans. And not just any Germans, but German Catholics with their ancient enmity toward European Jewry. German Catholics who shut up and went along, at first anyway, with whatever dear old Adolph wanted (and then paid dearly for that complicity by being walled away from the rest of the world for the next half-century). All of which makes their criticism now even more poignant and newsworthy.
There are new reports from Hebron which I will forward. They are very depressing. I’m sure Mr. Greenberg will especially like the graffiti on a Palestinian house, painted by a saintly Jewish settler, that reads “Arabs to the Gas Chambers.” I spoke with Ray Close this week. Mr. Close was a CIA officer, now retired, engaged in various efforts during the 50s, 60s, and 70s to destabilize and even overthrow regimes from Beirut to Baghdad. He is likewise depressed with the morass we find ourselves in. He said there are only two viable solutions left to the people caught up in this violence without end: leave now or stockpile arms and ammunition and wait. In his words, “keep your powder dry and wait for ‘The Night of the Long Knives.'” Again the Nazi connection…
The next day I received a copy of the editorial that had so upset my friend. What follows is a play on Greenberg’s “Dear Apologist for Evil.” Needless to say, Mr. Greenberg did not write back.
— Monsieur d’Nalgar
Dear Apologist for Evil,
I can’t say it was wholly a pleasure to read your calculated mischaracterization of recent remarks related to unpleasant observations of the happily departed German bishops during their late great visit to apartheid Palestine:
According to you, all the suffering and misery of Palestinians is purely of their own making, and the Israeli military has nothing to do with it.
We are supposed to believe that the dwindling number of survivors now telling their terrifying stories must be lying, or that they were professional provocateurs now posing as innocent victims. Not content with denying their testimony, you defame those with the courage to offer it.
You could likely produce a collection of impressive looking documents that are supposed to prove your case, despite abandonment of the myth of a “self-inspired” exodus by even the official propaganda of Israel. Now only you, your fellow apologists, and a few Left Behind apocalypse hunters seem determined to revoke even that late and insufficient canard.
My admiration grows for those Israeli historians like Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé, Avi Shlaim, and Tom Segev who, despite the opposition and opprobrium they faced, insisted on digging through the archives till they found proof of the Israeli government’s involvement in this barbarity. Their courage stands in stark contrast to your determination to deny one of the more awful crimes of a century full of them.
The treatment of the Palestinians can no more be excused or denied than the Rape of Lebanon last summer, the ethnic cleansing of more than 700,000 Palestinians in 1948, the barbaric abuse of prisoners at Khiam and Atlit and Maasiyahu, or any of the other indelible crimes committed by Eretz Israel at its arrogant height.
I notice the telltale “Inky Wretch” at the end of your clever diatribe. Let’s hope and pray your wretchedness doesn’t infect the next generation with your studied blindness to evil. I can’t say I blame you for not telling me just where your affections are located. I’d be ashamed, too.
There was a time when civilized nations seemed determined to lay out the record and resolve: Never Again. But now we seem to have forgotten how to shudder. And a “writer” like you can always be found to deny that these horrors ever took place, setting the stage for their repetition in our own time. See the recent-and continuing-events in Darfur. And Palestine. And Lebanon. And Iraq. And soon Iran as clever words like yours fester and spread their infectious poison.
Though you played no role in this vast crime, you are guilty of trying to deny it. Which makes you only a little lower than those who committed it. If there is such a crime as being an accessory after the historical fact, you’re guilty of it. Not that your complicity is worth exposing. It would be a waste of good ink.
Remember Deir Yassin.