Friday, August 31, 2007
Olmert's Crew Seeks to Suppress Last Vestiges of Honesty in Civil Service
few truly capable men of integrity in government service. He is smart,
skilled, well trained, and . so unusual in Israeli upper echelons of power
. he is honest. Take a look at this:
He is not a
rightwinger, he is just a decent honest man.
So naturally one of the first orders of business of the new Minister of
Finance, a handpicked mediocre Olmert crony (Roni Bar-On) is to fire
The State Comptroller is trying to block the arbitrary firing. Bar-On
does not want Zelicha looking over his shoulder when he starts engaging in
dubious dealing and remember that Bar-On now controls the national purse
strings as Olmert's handmaiden.
Now here's a thought. You think the firing might have anything to do with
Zelich was already getting death threats:
An excellent piece in Hebrew on Zelicha is here
Will Olmert's junta succeed in firing him? Stay tuned.
2. Apply the Rabin Law to the killers of Dani Katz:
3. Photo of Gila Svirsky, head of the "Women" in Black, without her
4. Please ask the Chicago Public Library not to allow Neo-Nazi Norman
Finkelstein to "hold his classes" in its building. See the story about
this at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,295230,00.html
Here is the list of the library's directors:
Also the Chicago Public Library Foundation should get outraged protests:
20 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 204 Chicago, Illinois 60602 312.201.9830
5. CRISIS IN THE CHAMISHITE LAROUCHE CULT:
Many members are close to rebellion after their leader drove a loyal
follower to suicide--and then blamed the widow.
(A Special Report from dennisking.org)
AUGUST 30, 2007--Anger in and around Lyndon LaRouche's National Caucus of
Labor Committees (NCLC)--a formerly wealthy political cult based in
Leesburg, Va.--is approaching the boiling point since LaRouche and top
aides released two memos in mid-August blaming the widow of a long-time
NCLC member for her husband's suicide last spring. (LaRouche, 84, is a
convicted felon and perennial Presidential candidate best known for his
claim that the Queen of England pushes drugs.)
The suicide was 58-year-old Kenneth Kronberg, a follower of LaRouche for
most of his adult life, who jumped from a highway overpass in Sterling,
Va. last April 11--only hours after LaRouche had issued a briefing to his
followers that singled out the printing company Mr. Kronberg ran as the
"worst" example of ideological laxness in the organization and suggested
that those responsible either shape up or kill themselves.
After months of behind-the-scenes tension, Mr. Kronberg's widow, Marielle
(Molly) Kronberg, came under open attack from the LaRouche organization
this month. The first of the two memos attacking her was dated Aug. 18. It
was obtained by author and longtime LaRouche critic Dennis King and
released last week on his website at http://dennisking.org/kronberg7.htm,
along with the second memo, dated Aug. 19, which was originally made
public on a FACT Net message board where ex-LaRouchians discuss their
former leader's misdeeds.
LaRouche announced in the Aug. 18 memo, which he himself wrote, that
"honest" members of the organization (i.e., LaRouche himself and those who
follow him unquestioningly) "have no reason to feel any guilt" over the
fate of Mr. Kronberg. The memo, whose circulation was restricted to
members of the NCLC's National Committee, also alluded to an "enemy who is
guilty of contributing to that misfortune" (Mr. Kronberg's suicide), and
implied that contributions to the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign by
"Bush-League Molly," as LaRouche characterized Mrs. Kronberg, were somehow
responsible for her husband's decision--three years later--to take his own
The Aug. 19 memo--an unsigned item in the Ops Bulletin section of the
LaRouche organization's daily briefing--revealed to the membership as a
whole that the new enemy is Mrs. Kronberg, herself a long-time member of
the National Committee. (Friends of Mrs. Kronberg say that she became
disillusioned with LaRouche and his worldview at the end of the 1980s and
subsequently began to participate in the activities of the local Episcopal
church in Leesburg. But she remained in the NCLC, and on its National
Committee, in order to stand by her husband and to try to help shield him
from increasingly abusive attacks by LaRouche's inner circle.)
Mrs. Kronberg was accused in the Aug. 19 memo of supporting "fascism"
because she had made donations to the Republicans in the last Presidential
election cycle. Characterizing these donations as a betrayal of the
LaRouche organization's, and supposedly her own husband's, "all-out war"
against "Bush-Cheney," the memo concluded, "Does anything more need be
said in the matter of Ken's suicide?"
Former members of the LaRouche organization have dissected the two memos
on the FACT Net discussion board for over a week (see
http://dennisking.org/kronberg8.htm for a selection of the postings).
Participants in the online discussion say that LaRouche's current attack
on Mrs. Kronberg was preceded by several unsuccessful attempts to absolve
the NCLC of any responsibility for her husband's suicide by blaming it on
a number of factors, among them plots involving several high-level
defectors from the organization including Uwe Friesecke, a former leader
of the German branch.
According to former members, LaRouche singled out Ken Kronberg a number of
years ago as a scapegoat for the organization's financial
difficulties--and had subjected him to incessant verbal abuse and
ideological denunciations, while withholding payments on printing bills to
such an extent that PMR Printing Company, the firm that Mr. Kronberg had
built to help the LaRouche movement, ended up with crippling debts. One
posting by a friend of Mr. Kronberg said that LaRouche had subjected the
PMR owner to "unbearable financial, legal, and psychological pressure."
To demonstrate LaRouche's role in driving Mr. Kronberg to suicide, a
former LaRouchian posted on FACT Net the transcript of a Nov. 21, 2005
conference call between LaRouche and his National Committee members, with
Mr. Kronberg also participating, that contained harsh remarks by the NCLC
chairman regarding PMR and its management. The person posting the
transcript described LaRouche's comments therein as "absolutely typical of
the kind of abuse Lyndon LaRouche was heaping on Kenneth Kronberg for
In the transcript LaRouche alludes to an alleged "scam" at PMR. "They
almost bankrupted us....they went deeply into debt, and they dragged us
into debt," he complains.
FACT Net discussion participants with direct knowledge of the LaRouche
movement's history say it was LaRouche himself, through his nonpayment of
huge printing bills for his political tracts, who created the financial
bind that forced PMR to close its doors shortly after Mr. Kronberg's
LaRouche's feelings of hostility towards Mr. Kronberg apparently were not
dampened by the latter's demise. In an April 19 letter (supposedly of
condolence) to Mrs. Kronberg, LaRouche asserted that "we either cling to
that dedication [to the LaRouche movement] of our living, or we were no
more than virtually beasts." LaRouche also advised Mrs. Kronberg that,
"the ugly, horror-stricken moment must pass." (See
Two months later, in a daily briefing statement entitled "A Mother
F_____'s Fears," LaRouche claimed that the "PMR leaders" (i.e., Mr.
Kronberg) had refused to heed LaRouche's financial advice at key points in
the firm's history. LaRouche referred to this failure to heed his own
advice as "psychopathological denial."
"As our own experience of the results of such cases has shown us,"
LaRouche added, "such forms of hysterical denial of reality can be
As to Mrs. Kronberg's support for Republican candidates, ex-LaRouchians
say this has been known for years by many in the organization, and was
never made into a public issue until now. They assert that Mr. and Mrs.
Kronberg had a live-and-let-live attitude toward their political
differences. One posting on FACT Net last week compared them to James
Carville and Mary Matalin, the well-known Washington couple of whom the
former is a close adviser to the Clintons and the latter, a close adviser
to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Former NCLC members noted, in a series of FACT Net postings on Aug. 26
(see edited version at <http://dennisking.org/kronberg11.htm>), that the
biggest supporter, historically, of Republican Party candidates within the
LaRouche movement is LaRouche himself, not Mrs. Kronberg. An individual
who was active in the NCLC during the 1970s and 1980s and posts under the
user name "xlcr4life" described LaRouche's vigorous support in past years
for Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George Herbert Walker Bush, alleging
that this support ended only when the first President Bush failed to give
LaRouche a pardon after the latter's 1988 Federal conviction for mail
fraud and conspiracy. (See Chapter 15 of Dennis King's Lyndon LaRouche and
the New American Fascism at http://dennisking.org/fascism15.htm for
further details of LaRouche's attempts to curry favor with top
One of the Aug. 26 postings on FACT Net claims that LaRouche's now-defunct
U.S. Labor Party courted future Vice President Cheney back in the 1970s,
and names the LaRouche follower who allegedly was the contact person.
Today, Cheney is LaRouche's number-one hate figure and is referred to as a
"beast man" and a British agent of influence in LaRouchian publications.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
By: Steven Plaut Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I suppose I should begin by explaining why I bothered to read the book The
God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (Bantam, 2006). Dawkins is Professor of
the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, and a zealot
with a mission: to wipe out religious belief of all sorts. The God
Delusion is his call to arms.
My reading of the book was largely in response to a triple dare made by a
friend, Dr. M., a true Zionist Israeli, an outspoken Jewish patriot, and
someone who describes himself as a militant agnostic. Dr. M. has long
found it incomprehensible . indeed, a downright insult to his intelligence
. that a nice educated fella like myself does not share his staunch
With a mixture of pity and annoyance, Dr. M. has been trying to enlighten
me. Convinced that no one could read Dawkins and come away unpersuaded, he
sent me the book and challenged me to read it.
The God Delusion . not to be confused with The Dawkins Delusion, an attack
on Dawkins co-written by Alistair McGrath, a molecular biologist also from
Oxford University . is one of a growing genre of books designed to market
militant atheism to the reading public. (A recent entry that has sold
rather briskly is God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by
Christopher Hitchens, who used to be a left-wing Israel basher and is now
a quasi-right-wing Israel basher.)
"Promulgating atheism," the Wall Street Journal reports, "has become a
lucrative business." Los Angeles-based radio host and popular columnist
Dennis Prager recently wrote, "In my opinion. the arguments put forth [in
such books] are far more emotional than intellectual, and even secular
liberal journals have written devastating reviews of the Hitchens and
Dawkins books.. The secular indoctrination of a generation that has grown
into adulthood is bearing fruit.."
* * * * *
What exactly is Dawkins.s thesis and why is his book a bestseller?
Dawkins pushes his atheist arguments by setting up the weakest straw men
he can find and then toppling them over. He briefly argues with Thomas
Aquinas, but chooses most of his other sparring partners from among the
dullest, most evil, and least sophisticated he can find. This is all a bit
like claiming that if some foolish or unscrupulous people happen to
believe the world is round, that in itself proves it is flat.
A more serious book would deal with the subject in a deeper manner, rather
than with caricatures of its theological/ideological opponents. Dawkins
often resorts to crude mockery of "believers." His writing style is
hysterical, demagogic and at times juvenile. He tends to respond to claims
he dislikes by barking out "That.s an argument?"
Dawkins.s general theme is that God.s existence cannot be scientifically
"proved" or even probabilistically established by using mathematical rules
of likelihood. He then leaps to the "inference" that if one cannot prove
scientifically that God exists, well, then, He must not exist. Much of the
book is an attempt to establish as a given that belief in God is
delusional, often by discrediting individual believers and specific
religious groups or organizations.
Before he became arguably the leading academic advocate of atheism,
Dawkins was best known for his books on popularized genetics. Dawkins
invented the rather silly concept of "memes," which holds that pop tunes
and cultural fads spread in similar fashion to genetic traits, via a
process of mutation and "natural selection." I guess that explains hip-hop
music, something no one would attribute to any Deity.
As it turns out, when Dawkins writes about "religion," he, like many
similar writers, really means Western Christianity. He has at most a
shallow passing familiarity with Islam and Judaism, and knows virtually
nothing at all about other religions. His ideas about "Bible believers"
are really all about fundamentalist Christians; he seems to have never met
a Jewish biblical authority or scholar.
(Hitchens is little better; he spends a significant amount of time
attacking the biblical pronouncement of an eye for an eye, apparently
unaware that Judaism has always interpreted that as meaning the monetary
value of losing an eye.)
Dawkins is at his best when he attacks the "scientific gaps" arguments
made by some who argue that God must exist because humans cannot explain
various mysteries of the universe, first and foremost the Big Bang itself.
Dawkins argues that if scientists have been unable to explain this or that
scientific mystery, one should be cautious about leaping to the conclusion
that they will never be scientifically explained.
Many rabbis would agree: Insisting that acknowledgment of God.s existence
depends upon unsolved "gaps" in science is to make God a hostage to the
pace of scientific advance. Too many things previously believed to be
unsolvable have by now been solved, starting with genetics. But Dawkins.s
real problem appears when he claims that if scientists have
indeedexplained many scientific mysteries, it somehow proves that God is a
To sum up his overly long and at times tedious book, these are Dawkins.s
The existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like all others and must
be subject to scientific testing. If God cannot be proven to exist, no
proof that He does not exist is even needed. It just follows.
Religion has nothing useful to teach about science (though one must not
conclude the inverse). Creationists and those who have conducted
experiments seeking empirical demonstration of the power of prayer are to
Religious scientists really are not so; they are really atheists for
whom God and nature are synonyms. (Never mind that many of them
Religious believers are too easily offended when people challenge their
beliefs. (Hardly a serious argument against belief itself, especially from
someone who takes offense at any criticism of atheism).
Groups of religious believers are involved in bad things, like violence
and political suppression. Some clergymen have engaged in sexual
misconduct. Therefore God must not exist.
The "God of the Old Testament" (or, more correctly, the caricature of
that God with which Dawkins is familiar) is nasty and hysterical and
ultimately a petty invention. All religions (especially monotheism) foster
fanaticism. Therefore God must not exist.
Dawkins pooh-poohs the "primary cause" arguments ("everything must have a
cause and so the first cause must be God"), but is left with little
besides "things just get caused" in a natural world that is full of random
The entire universe just popped out of a space the size of a pinhead for
no reason at all (which is the Big Bang theory as science now understand
it), certainly no thanks to God. Multiple or sequential universes, for
which no evidence actually exists, would neither prove nor disprove God,
but Dawkins keeps insisting they disprove God.s existence.
While Dawkins properly dismisses those who say "If you cannot explain
something, God must be the explanation," he is infatuated with the no less
fatuous idea that if you cannot explain God.s agenda/behavior/character,
He must not exist.
Dawkins often contradicts himself. Lots of eminent scientists do not
believe in God, writes Dawkins, somewhat mysteriously counting Einstein
among them. Atheism is legitimate because the U.S. founding fathers were
atheists, he adds. (Actually, not one of them was.)
At the same time, however, he goes to great lengths to dismiss those who
argue for God.s existence on the grounds that nearly all humans in all
countries believe in at least one. That proves nothing, he insists . it.s
just an "anthropic principle" argument. In other words, sometimes
"theological proof by straw poll" is acceptable and sometimes it is not.
Dawkins wants moral principles to be based on something other than
religion or the Bible, but is not sure what should replace them other than
his own personal moral preferences. His "atheists are moral too" mantra
would not hold up well to empirical testing (there would be too many
communists in the sample). His social science pronouncements are
surprisingly thin (indeed, he seems never to have studied social science).
He uses dime-store anthropology in his chapter . the book.s weakest . on
the development of religion among humans.
To "prove" his point that theology is not needed to foster morality, he
cites some secular alternatives to the Ten Commandments taken from an
atheist website: "Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering
justice"; "Always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and
honestly regretted." Yawn.
He then adds some original "commandments" of his own, like "Enjoy your own
sex life (so long as it damages nobody else)"; "Value the future on a
timescale longer than your own" and "Do not indoctrinate your children."
No shofar blowing or mountain in flames here. We can just envision the
little Dawkins children, if there are any, asking their
anti-indoctrination daddy why he forbids them to read the Bible.
* * * * *
I suspect Dawkins and his copycats have been induced to turn out these
Three Cheers for Atheism books by the growing popularity of the
Intelligent Design school of thought: In recent years, a minority set of
thinkers about evolution has emerged, including some serious scientists.
Intelligent Design.s main argument is that there are holes in the theory
of evolution, things that cannot be explained by classical Darwinian
biology. Commentary magazine has run several articles promoting their
point of view.
The conclusion of Intelligent Design advocates is that only some form of
"intelligence" imposed on random evolution can explain life on earth. Most
biologists dismiss the argument, and opponents have filed a series of
court petitions to prohibit its being mentioned in schools, even as a
minority, dissident point of view.
The more zealous opponents of Intelligent Design unfairly denounce it as
"creationism," or academic window dressing to biblical literalism, and as
an unconstitutional attempt to impose religious fundamentalism on
schoolchildren. Attacks on Intelligent Design often are hysterical and ad
hominem in nature, and attempts to recruit the courts as classroom censors
sometimes seem like Scopes monkey trials in reverse.
While liberal Jewish organizations have generally denounced Intelligent
Design and have backed and aided attempts to ban it from the classroom,
the Orthodox response has been less than uniform. Rabbi Avi Shafran, for
example, while affirming that Jews respect science and scientific inquiry,
sees the attempt to use the courts to suppress Intelligent Design as
anti-scientific, amounting to an attempt to impose a pseudo-religion of
Israeli Rabbi Natan Slifkin, who writes about science and theology, has
been critical of Intelligent Design because it attempts to prove God.s
presence through the existence of the "scientific gaps" mentioned earlier.
Slifkin argues instead that Judaism more properly should see proof of God
and His presence in the parts of the universe that have been understood
and explained; that is, in the miracles of mundane and ordinary life.
While some haredi rabbis have denounced Slifkin.s writings . mainly for
his suggesting that the Talmudic sages were not infallible on matters of
science . a number of Modern and Centrist Orthodox rabbis have praised his
Meanwhile, like so many other haters of religion, Dawkins repeatedly tries
to set up an artificial contest between theology and science, demanding
that readers concede that each and every scientific discovery amounts to
an additional nail in the coffin of religious belief (or religious
"superstition," in his terminology).
Dawkins would have problems with a recent survey which found that nearly
two-thirds (63 percent) of professors at American colleges confirm they
believe in God. I recently attended a lecture at the Technion by Nobel
Prize winner Robert Aumann. His entire lecture consisted of citations from
Maimonides and the Talmud.
All of which leaves me wondering how Dawkins would deal with Sir Isaac
Newton, the father of modern physics. With the arguable exception of
Einstein, Newton contributed more to science than any other human. But
Newton had a deep belief in a personal God and even something of an
affinity for Hebrew scholarship.
Incidentally, if Dawkins and some of his more zealous followers were to
have their way, Sir Isaac himself would today be prohibited from teaching
science in any public school.
In an exhibit of some of his scientific papers now on display at the
Hebrew University in Jerusalem, there is one on which Newton had evidently
written in his own hand the Hebrew phrase "Baruch shem kavod malchuto
l.olam va.ed" . the verse from Ezekiel we repeat during the recitation of
the Shema prayer. (The page can be viewed at
The English translation of the verse transcribed by the giant of science
reads: "Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom for all eternity."
Dawkins and his ilk must pity the poor, primitive, deluded Isaac Newton.
2. Welcome aboard, Dan!
4. CNN's Megabimbette:
5. Nazi Norman to Fast this Coming Yom Kippur:
6. A group of Israeli leftist law professors, in many cases the same ones
trying to smear Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, are rallying to help
the terrorists in Gitmo!
7. The "Peace Studies" Racket:
9. Three cheers for illegal settlers:
10, The Left gets Psychotic - some more:
12. Please help get this circulated:
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The New Dreyfus Trial
A New Dreyfus Affair
By Joanna Chandler
FrontPageMagazine.com | 8/29/2007
On September 12, 2007, Philippe Karsenty of Paris will present his appeal
of a judgment for defamation rendered in favor of Charles Enderlin,
Jerusalem Bureau Chief for France 2, the television station responsible
for airing the Mohamed Al Durah hoax which was adopted, at birth, as
official informatiom in nearly every corner of the world. Karsenty, editor
of Media-Ratings, www.m-r.fr, an internet service that monitors the French
media, questioned Enderlin.s veracity and challenged him to explain
obvious defects and inconsistencies in the Al Durah story. Initially, the
Israeli government had taken responsibility for the boy.s death, but later
concluded that it had reliable evidence that the case was a fraud. Daniel
Seaman, Director of Israel.s Government Press Office, openly calls the
alleged .murder. of Al Durah a hoax. France 2 is holding 27 minutes of raw
footage of the incident, which could resolve the controversy once and for
all. But it refuses to release the tapes. The trial court, finding in
favor of Enderlin, disregarded the evidence Karsenty presented. Instead,
the judge relied on a two-year old letter from former French President,
Jacques Chirac, that did not refer to the Al Durah incident at all, but
simply complimented Enderlin as a journalist. Politics aside, the evidence
stands on its own. Reminiscent of the Dreyfus Affair that occurred more
than 100 years earlier, few have stepped forward to assist Karsenty in
rebutting this lie.a lie with sufficient currency to defame every Jew
alive in the world today. It is not really Karsenty, the individual, who
is on trial, but the State of Israel and the Jewish people.for a staged
.murder. that the world chose to accept as true. Seven years after the
supposed .crime,. the lie persists as if it had a life of its own. But,
the real crime, the crime that did, in fact, occur and for which no one
has been charged, nor punished, is the crime of defaming Israel and the
Jews.a crime that has unleashed murder and terrorism in its wake and that
has compromised the integrity of every journalist and public servant who
has ever chosen to report the hoax as true. Some did so, deliberately, and
without shame. Some disobeyed their conscience and chose convenience over
honor. Still others went along with the hoax out of slothfulness, simply
failing to exercise the diligence required of their profession. None can
be excused for acting in good faith because the evidence was, and is,
clear and unambiguous.impossible to ignore. Moreover, the evidence is
substantive and overwhelming. The fact that the Al Dura story is a hoax is
apparent to anyone who cares to cast a critical eye on the unedited, raw
footage of the incident that has so far become available.
The Hoax and its Ramifications
On September 30, 2000, at the Netzarim Junction in the Gaza strip, Talal
Abu Rahmeh, a stringer working for France 2 and CNN, filmed an Arab
Palestinian boy, Mohamed al Durah, and his father, Jamal al Durah,
crouching behind a concrete barrel, and cowering from a hail of bullets
until the boy .dies. and the father is grievously .wounded.. France 2
Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Charles Enderlin, who was also the vice president
of Israel.s Foreign Press Association, hand delivered copies of a 55
second excerpt of Talal.s footage to all of the major foreign news
agencies at the Jerusalem Studio House. Within hours, the 55 second
abbreviated film clip was broadcast on France 2 Television, a French
government controlled and financed station, and subsequently picked up by
virtually every media outlet in the world. IDF soldiers were depicted as
the willful perpetrators of the atrocity. However, they are never seen on
film shooting at the pair. Strangely, they were accused of shooting at the
boy and his father for an astounding 45 minutes.
In reality, Mohamed al Durah.s .death. was a staged media event aimed at
tarnishing the reputation of the State of Israel, and demonizing her in
the eyes of the world community by depicting IDF soldiers as heartless
killers who deliberately target children.
The Al Durah hoax is a weapon in the hands of Israel.s enemies. It has not
been dispelled and continues to cause her harm. As recently as August 21,
2007, the French Daily, Le Monde interviewed Hazem Sharawi, the creator of
.The Pioneers of Tomorrow,. a Hamas television program for children that
typically incites hatred and violence against Israel and Jews. One of
Sharawi.s young viewers explains how The Pioneers of Tomorrow advises
children to .photograph the Jews when they kill children.. Despite his
diploma in education, Sharawi has no problem teaching Palestinian Arab
children to believe in lies. He says, .What we do only reflects reality.
Look what happened to Mohamed Al Durah (a young boy killed by Israeli fire
at the very beginning of the Intifiada) and Hoda Ghalia (a small girl
killed with six other members of her family in a bombing on a Gaza beach
in June of 2006).. The Ghalia family killing is yet another hoax spawned
in the wake of Al Durah. But the parentheses inside the quotation marks
are Le Monde.s. This internationally acclaimed French newspaper
mechanically passes on the two lies to its readers without question,
comment or criticism. In the hands of Le Monde, the path from hoax to
reality is a one-way street.
It is also an endless chain. Respected human rights organizations such as
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International eagerly pick up the baton to
accuse Israel of human rights abuse on the basis of groundless charges,
such as these, that are endlessly broadcast over the media. Arab
Palestinian violence is implicitly blamed on Israel, and measures that
Israel takes in her own legitimate defense are condemned as unprovoked
aggression against Arab civilians. The innumerable worldwide divestment
campaigns against Israel, academic and economic boycotts and other indicia
of pariah-hood are, in no small measure, due to her underserved reputation
as a major human rights violator.
The Al Durah hoax has spawned countless other staged or faked atrocities
that amount to nothing more, nor less, than authentic blood libels against
the Jewish people. The world media, by and large, accept them without
analytical scrutiny, indifferent to the falsity of their claims. Israel
stood accused of massacring 5,000 Arab Palestinians during operation
Defensive Shield in Jenin in the spring of 2002. The operation was
launched to neutralize terrorist cells responsible for a series of ongoing
attacks against Israelis, including the suicide bombing of the Park Hotel
in Netanya that killed and severely wounded dozens of people. Eventually,
the truth came out about Jenin. The Arab Palestinians finally admitted
that only 56 people had died, most of whom were armed combatants.
Furthermore, aerial photographs of the Jenin battle attest to the pinpoint
accuracy of the Israeli operation. It only targeted areas in which
terrorists were believed to be hiding. To further reduce the risk to
civilians, the IDF did not bomb the terrorists from the air. Instead, it
conducted house to house searches for the terrorists, thus greatly
increasing the danger to Israel.s own soldiers. Israel lost more than a
dozen soldiers in Jenin, soldiers who deliberately placed themselves in
harm.s way out of concern for Arab Palestinian life. Nevertheless, the
original charge of massacre, though false, went round the world countless
times, thanks to journalists and their media outlets who should have known
better, but cared little about the lies they told. The harm to Israel.s
reputation was irrevocable.
Moreover, the stigma attached to Israel as a major human rights violator,
even surpassing such nations as China and Sudan, arouses world
condemnation when she exercises her legitimate right and obligation to
defend herself against the unrelenting terrorist attacks perpetrated by
her Arab Palestinian neighbors.attacks implicitly justified by phony
atrocities, not unlike the Al Durah .murder..
Two weeks after the Al Durah hoax was publicized as fact, garnering
worldwide condemnation of Israel in diplomatic, media, religious and human
rights circles, two IDF soldiers made a wrong turn and inadvertently
wandered into Ramallah, an Arab enclave under the control of the
Palestinian Authority. The consequences of their fatal error are well
known: they were tortured and beaten to death in the Palestinian Authority
police station, and their lifeless bodies thrown out of the station.s
second story window to a throng of men howling, Allahu-Akbar.God is great!
They commenced to dismember and disembowel the soldiers. corpses, and then
passed the entrails on a platter to a hysterical mob numbering in the
thousands who rejoiced as they literally chewed and swallowed the remains
of their hated Jews. What is lesser known is that while eating the flesh
and blood of their victims, in satisfaction and triumph, the good citizens
of Ramallah chanted, not only, Allah hu-Akbar.but the name of Mohamed al
Durah! The supposed .death. of the child had become a pretext for revenge.
Shockingly, former President Clinton, writing in his autobiography, My
Life, referred to the carnage in the following terms: .As the violence
persisted, two vivid images of its pain and futility emerged. A twelve
year old Palestinian boy shot in the crossfire and dying in his father.s
arms, and two Israeli soldiers pulled from a building and beaten to death,
with their lifeless bodies dragged through the streets and one of their
assailants proudly showing his bloodstained hands to the world on
Evidently, the lie of Al Durah.s death had been repeated often enough to
be accepted as true by a former president of the United States of America.
Clinton equates the Al Durah lie, with the real torture, mutilation,
murder and even cannibalization of two young men whose horrific fate was
meant to avenge a killing.but a killing that had not occurred.
Moreover, the Al Durah scam, successful as it is, has set the pattern for
other famous pretended revenge atrocities. Daniel Pearl.s murderers
invoked Mohamed.s .death. as they beheaded their victim. Osama bin Laden
invoked the .dead. child.s name in recruitment videos before and in
celebratory fashion after 911. More recently, in June of 2005, a 21
year-old Arab Palestinian woman, Wafa Samir al-Bis, was stopped on her way
to blow herself up and kill as many Israeli children as possible at the
Soroka Medical Center in Be.er Sheva. She had been receiving treatment
there for burns arising out of an accident at home. When asked why she
specifically wanted to kill children, she replied that she was seeking
revenge for the death of Mohamed al Durah.
On September 30, 2000, two hours after the boy.s death was broadcast, by
France 2, A French viewer, Mr. Redoine T. posted hate messages to numerous
websites urging Muslims to kill Jews, any time, any place and in any
manner, in order to avenge the killing of innocent Palestinian children.
He was brought before a French tribunal the following year which cited
messages such as: .Muslims of France, support the Palestinian resistance,
French people, do not be an accomplice of the cowardly, Jewish assassins
and thieves who kill innocent children [emphasis added]. He says that
killing Jews by any means is good and he lists suicide bombing as a
legitimate instrument of death.
The mythical .martyr. has now been immortalized as an icon to be emulated.
Postage stamps bearing his crouched image have been issued in Jordan,
Egypt and Tunisia. A street in Bagdad and a square in Morocco bear his
name. Countless schools throughout the Arab world are named after him. His
image was depicted on a designer dress in Saudi Arabia. Arab television
programs in the Palestinian Authority and elsewhere portray him on his way
to heaven and exhort children to seek .martyrdom. with all its attendant
obligations and rewards: namely, the killing of Jews and the quid pro quo
of 72 black-eyed virgins.
On September 28, 2000, Ariel Sharon ascended the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem. According to pundits, journalists and statesmen, this is the
undisputed event that triggered what is known as the Second Intifada.
However, the world ignores the fact that the phony Mohamed al Durah
.murder. occurred only two days later. It was only after the Al Durah
incident was broadcast the world over, day and night, ad infinitum, with
sympathetic commentary from nearly all governments, that the violence
exploded in earnest.
Furious Arab Palestinian mobs attacked Israeli soldiers who were condemned
for coming to the defense of their country and its citizens. The Al Durah
hoax also inspired murderous rampages throughout the Arab/Muslim world
which directed blame for the supposed .atrocity. not only at Israel but,
also, against the United States. Al Durah.s name was invoked in hateful
demonstrations in Europe and the United States whose participants openly
called for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel and the
United States. Arson and vandalism against Jewish institutions worldwide
skyrocketed, as did physical assaults, murder and terrorism. Attacks
against Jews were regarded as .spill-over. from the Sharon visit to the
Temple Mount. But, the name invoked by the rioters was less often Sharon,
than, Al Durah.
The last few years have amply demonstrated that Jews and Israel are no
longer terrorism.s principle target of choice. Islamic terror justified by
imaginary victim-hood is laying waste to a substantial portion of the
globe, and its reach is growing. If the Al Durah hoax is bad for Israel
and Jews, it is no less toxic for the free world. The specter of raging
mobs whipped into murderous frenzy on the basis of false charges
propagated by government leaders and media institutions does not bode well
for the rule of law, the keystone of constitutional democracy. However,
the Al Durah scam lends itself perfectly to the model of government
practiced ubiquitously in the Arab/Muslim world: namely, corrupt,
authoritarian and ruthless dictatorships who posit an imaginary foe on
which to channel the public rage that would otherwise be directed against
themselves. We jeopardize our own freedoms by imbibing the unvarnished
propaganda on which such dictatorial regimes rely in order to maintain
Even so, Muslim rage is not only about politics. It is also religiously
based. Just as Islamic terrorists justify their atrocities on the basis of
religion, the raging, murderous, amorphous, Muslim mob gathers its forces
in defense of Islam.and against the infidel. One only needs to recall a
few instances in which Muslims rose up in defense of their religion: the
publication of 12 Danish cartoons; Pope Benedict.s criticism of Islam; the
false charge that a Koran had been desecrated at Gitmo. In fact, the list
of events that have triggered Muslim rage, even in recent years, is
endless. However, suffice it to say that Muslim rage is never limited to
words alone.or even to fighting words. It is always accompanied by
violence, murder, arson and terrorism.
Proof of the Hoax
Despite nearly unanimous declarations from media worldwide, it is clear
from viewing the film of the .shooting. that Mohamed al Durah did not die,
as alleged, nor did he nor his father receive a single bullet wound during
the time in which he was being .killed. and allegedly died.
Western audiences viewed a 55 second video of the supposed .killing,. at
the end of which news commentators dolefully announce the .death. of the
boy. The 55 seconds shown on television is actually 7 segments of film
pieced together. At the end of the 7th segment, two fingers appear in the
viewfinder, indicating that this last segment was a second .take.. The two
fingers are only visible if the tape is played in slow motion. An
additional 3 seconds of film exists.three seconds that television viewers
were deprived of observing. In this segment, the .dead. boy and his father
reappear. Then, something extraordinary occurs: The boy raises his elbow
and right leg, turns his head and furtively looks around, replaces his
head and elbow in the .dead. position, but appears to have forgotten about
his leg. He leaves it suspended in the air for the duration of the clip.
The two fingers after the boy is pronounced dead, plus the clip of the
boy.s movements after he supposedly .dies,. is widely available on the
internet for all the world to see. Strangely, there has been little
forensic, let alone, scientific and journalistic, curiosity about this
novel phenomenon. Evidently, the fervent belief in life after death
explains the absence of even a single collective guffaw.let alone any
critical analysis of why a .corpse. would behave in so untoward a manner.
Nor did the fact that Mohamed al Durah.s .death. required two .takes.
arouse any journalistic, or even theatrical curiosity.
France 2 retains 27 minutes of original footage which it has refused to
release. It claims that it did not reveal the footage of the boy.s
movements after he supposedly .dies. because it did not want to subject
its audience to the .agony of the child.. In fact, no such footage of the
child.s supposed .agony. exists.
Although, the boy.s posthumous movements should have pronounced the Al
Durah Hoax dead on arrival, there is no shortage of further evidence of
the deception. The Israeli soldiers are alleged to have continuously shot
the boy and his father from their guard post for a duration of 45 minutes,
with the intention of killing them. In the film, the Al Durahs are
crouched against a wall. Immediately to the right of the screen is a
cement barrel, topped by a concrete cinder block, also located against the
wall. The Al Durahs, the wall, and the barrel are in plain view of the
camera, and the Al Durahs appear to be using the barrel as a shield
against fire coming from an unseen location on the other side of it. The
unseen location is assumed to be the guard post from which, unseen
assailants, presumably, Israeli soldiers, are, allegedly, .firing..
However, the Al Durahs are concealed by the barrel and are, therefore, not
visible to the soldiers in the guard post.
Because the Israeli soldiers could not see the pair, they could not have
fired on them deliberately. Furthermore, even if Mohamed al Durah were
shot by bullets coming from an unseen location on the other side of the
barrel, by unseen assailants, presumably, Israeli, there should be bullet
holes on the section of the barrel that directly faces him. In fact, not a
single bullet exited the barrel from the supposed Israeli direction to
reach the boy. There are no bullet holes on the side of the barrel behind
which Mohamed al Durah is .hiding..
On the contrary, seven bullet holes were found in the wall against which
the Al Durahs were crouched. The bullets that created these holes appeared
to have been fired from the same direction from which the pair were being
filmed, that is, from a Palestinian position located behind the camera,
and not from the direction of the Israeli position, as alleged.
The boy.s father claimed that he had been shot in the hand, arm, elbow and
leg and that he suffered a crushed pelvis. He also said that Mohamed
received a bullet to his stomach that exited from the back. According to
the cameraman, Abu Rahmeh, Mohamed bled for 20 minutes. But, in the film
clip broadcast the world over, and in the additional 3 seconds not
commonly seen by television viewers, there are no signs of blood on the Al
Durahs, on the wall behind them, nor on the ground.
Three hours of raw footage from Reuters and AP, taken in the vicinity of
the Netzarim junction in Gaza, on September 30, 2000.the very same day as
the supposed .killing. of the boy.show dozens of Palestinian Arab children
attacking the Israeli guard post, not only from the ground, but from
adjacent buildings that looked down upon it, with Molotov cocktails, heavy
objects, including appliances, stones, and other projectiles. Many of
these landed on the roof directly over the heads of the approximately 20
soldiers inside. Surely, if they had desired to kill children, those in
plain view, lobbing their Molotov cocktails, would have been easy
targets.unlike the Al Durahs, who were not threatening the soldiers, were
not attacking the soldiers, were not visible to the soldiers, were not in
the line of fire of the soldiers, but were, in fact, impossible targets
for the soldiers.
Despite the attempted arson and other violent aggression against the guard
post, at no time are Israeli soldiers filmed firing upon the Arab
Palestinian children. The dozens of reporters and cameramen observing the
evil mischief of these .innocents. were waiting for them to provoke a
shooting incident. If the Israeli soldiers had fired even a single shot at
the children, it is impossible that the cameras would have missed it.
Indeed, they were waiting for nothing else! In fact, other than the phony
Al Durah .killing,. not a single Arab Palestinian child was reported
killed or injured by Israelis at the Netzarim Junction that day. It is
beyond the realm of possibility that the Israeli soldiers in the guard
post would have ignored these children in favor of shooting at Mohamed al
Durah and his father who were not violent, not present and not even
visible to them.
This raw footage, in other sequences, is rich with evidence of typically
staged atrocities and is widely available on the internet.
One can see a phony ambulance evacuation and a pretend battle in which
Arab Palestinians are firing into what turns out to be an empty building.
There are scenes in which men dressed in civilian clothing are instructing
others dressed in military uniform in the staging of heroic battle scenes
with nonexistent Israeli soldiers. There are faked injuries. Phony
.victims. are handled roughly and stuffed into ambulances while bystanders
smile and give each other .high fives.. The Al Durahs are seen crouching
behind their barrel while a panicked crowd runs away. In another faked
scene, a hoard of Arab Palestinians appears to be fleeing and scrambling
to get out of the line of Israeli fire while other Arab Palestinians
calmly stroll the streets, and go about their business with their children
and families. If all the others are panicking, why aren.t they? The
answer: They know the scene is staged.
Staging atrocities is a matter of common knowledge in the Palestinian
Authority. But, if ordinary Arab Palestinians know it, why do so many
journalists appear not to know it? Of course, the question is rhetorical.
Arab Palestinians can witness staged atrocities just by walking down the
street in their neighborhood. Ditto for the journalists who are there to
report on them. But, reporting a lie does not make it true. If the media
are willing to accept the implausible lie of Al Durah, any amount of
fakery can be concocted as true.
Recalling the words of a character in Leon Uris., The Haj, .there is
nothing like the beauty of a well-placed lie.. To the enemies of Israel
and the Jewish people, the Al Durah lie is well placed and very beautiful,
indeed. It has afforded them great satisfaction in the dishonor that has
accrued to the State of Israel, in the hatred that has been directed at
Jews worldwide, and in the terrorism and murder that has followed in its
Philippe Karsenty has been sued in France under a criminal statute for
questioning the veracity of a news story that has caused extensive damage
to the honor and dignity of the State of Israel, and has unleashed
gratuitous violence and terrorism against Jews, not just in Israel, but
the world over who are seen as representatives of an evil entity that must
be targeted and punished. Though questions about the case are troubling
and abundant, few journalists have elected to grapple with it. France 2.s
case against Karsenty is an obvious attempt to silence and punish him for
his determination to expose the Al Durah hoax to the light of reason and
The Al Durah hoax is reminiscent of the Dreyfus Affair that occurred more
than 100 years ago in France. A Jewish army captain was falsely accused
and condemned for treason. Many years later, due to the intervention of
writer and journalist, Emile Zola, the verdict was overturned and he was
released from incarceration at the notorious Devil.s Island. But, the day
Dreyfus was publicly relieved of his office, his honors ripped from his
uniform, and his sword broken in two, thousands upon thousands of
Frenchmen gathered to chant and cry hysterically in the lovely boulevards
of Paris, .Death to the Jews!. A young Austrian journalist was there to
report the story. At that moment, he knew that the Jews of Europe were
doomed and that it was imperative that they leave the continent. His name
was Theodore Herzl and the year was 1894. Less than 50 years later, his
words proved prophetic. Seventy-five thousand French Jews perished at the
hands of the Nazis and their French collaborators, and more than 6 million
Jews died in Europe as a whole. It is a sad footnote to the Dreyfus Affair
that France is the country that breathed life into the Al Durah hoax.
Though he is the one on trial, Philippe Karsenty is not Dreyfus. It is the
State of Israel and the Jewish people who are Dreyfus today. Nor is
Karsenty Zola. Why? Zola enjoyed wide acclaim as an important writer and
was, thus, capable of stirring public opinion in support of Dreyfus. It
was the storm of public outrage that finally won Dreyfus. freedom. But,
that outrage was the product of a journalist who was willing to publicly
question the lies on which Dreyfus. conviction was based. Karsenty is
merely an ordinary citizen who, standing almost without allies, has
elected to pit himself against yet another terrible lie. But, alas, there
is not even one Emile Zola today. Nevertheless, the hope still remains
that, even at this late hour, a new Zola will come forward to speak out,
to demand justice, and to stake his honor and reputation on the truth.
On December 8, 1983, a child named Dani Katz walked to the street outside
his parent's home in the Dania neighborhood of Haifa. He was 14. His
parents were Holocaust survivors.
Outside the home, he was kidnapped by a group of Arabs from the Israeli
Galilee town of Sakhnin who held jobs in the Dania neighborhood. They
took him to a cave near Sakhnin. There they tortured him in the most
brutal and horrific way imaginable. They eventually murdered him. After
murdering him they sodomized the corpse. They then left him there to rot.
You can see a photo of the boy here:
Police unraveled the crime and arrested the five murderers, who confessed
and reenacted the crimes. They were tried in Haifa in 1985 and sentenced
to life in prison plus 27 years (this to prevent their being released in
case of bleeding heart shortening of sentence due to good behavior.) At
one point one of the judges, Avraham Beizer (since retired), asked one of
perps sarcastically what it felt like "to bang the boy," and later asked
whether the sandwich had tasted good. (The murderers were caught in part
because they left sandwich remains in the cave.) The perp's lawyer tried
to get a mistrial over that.
The lawyer for the accused was far-leftist Avigdor Feldman. Feldman has
devoted much of his career to defending terrorists, extremists and traitors. He
defended Mordecai Vanunu (nuclear spy), Marcus Klinberg (Soviet spy), Tali
Fahima (was did jail time for helping her Palestinian terrorist boyfriend
plan atrocities), Teddy Katz (Ilan Pappe's student who fabricated the
Tantura massacre), and others.
Feldman claimed the confessions of the five were coerced. The court
investigated the charge thoroughly and found it to be false. After the
conviction, and after a report by two Meretz members of the government
criticizing use of confessions in trials, Feldman eventually lobbied the
judicial system into giving his clients a new trial, at the order of
Aharon Barak, the (now retired) Chief Justice and promoter of
anti-democratic judicial activism in Israel. The new trial was held in
Tel Aviv District Court. The perps were briefly put back on the street.
They were again convicted in the new trial. The new judges noted the long
string of lies and contradictions by the accused. Feldman appealed the
new conviction to the Supreme Court, and the court rejected it
Some have conjectured that the murder was an initiation rite into a terror
Some Israeli leftist groups have been rallying support ever since for the
murderers (see for example in Hebrew only:
see also anti-Zionist journalist Tom Segev's comments:
In 1982 a female soldier named Dafna Carmon was raped and murdered outside
her home Two of the murderers of Dani Katz were also convicted of
murdering her. They were also represented in that trial by Feldman.
Some Arab Knesset members had been lobbying for the release of the
murderers. The "appeals commission" of the Justice Ministry recently
recommended that the five murderers have their sentences "shortened."
Shimon Peres as President made it official, which means that they will be
released from prison within the next few days.
More on this atrocity:
See also http://www.cdn-friends-icej.ca/israeln/022699.html
2. The real reason for the vicious assaults on Minister of Justice
He threatens the Left's anti-democratic use of the Supreme Court to impose
its agenda on the country:
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Look who is rallying to Help Neo-Nazi Norman
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Israel's Security Wall is Worthless
provide security unless Israel also exercised military control over the
territory on the OTHER side of the wall?
Well take a look at this photo:
and this story:
The Pestilinians have a new high-tech breakthrough that makes the
"Security Wall" completely ineffective.
It is called a ladder!
2. Peres the Prophet?
Norman the Neo-Nazi is Homeless - or at least Officeless
2. The Danger and Harm from "Wind Power":
DER SPIEGEL 34/2007 - August 20, 2007
The Dangers of Wind Power
By Simone Kaiser and Michael Fr.hlingsdorf
2. Nazi Norman - David Irving's leading Jewish groupie - gets kicked out
of his office:
Prof. Finkelstein - Professor Budde has informed me that you have asked
for office space for your books. We do not have office space assigned to
you for the coming academic year. I will look into whether we can make
space available for you and either I or Professor Budde will get in touch
with you next week with more information.
In the meantime, you will not have access to your old office space. To the
extent that you left personal belongings in your old office space, we can
discuss a plan for their return to you when I get in touch with you next
week. You should not plan on moving into any office space tomorrow, as
that option is not available to you.
I will contact you next week with more information.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) Suchar
Professor and Dean
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Vincent dePaul Professor
Office of the Dean
990 W. Fullerton Ave. Office#4207
Chicago, IL. 60614-3298
Phones: (773) 325-7305
fax: (773) 325-7304
Citation from Nazi Norman on Counterpunch recently:
'Hilberg reserved even greater contempt (and loathing) for Lucy
Dawidowicz, author of the highly touted The War Against the Jews. Here it
can be said that his verdict was faultless. During the heyday of the
Holocaust religion in the 1970s-1980s, Dawidowicz was its designated high
priestess. The problem was that, as Hilberg brutally demonstrates in his
memoir, she got the most elementary facts wrong. I once asked my late
mother, who survived Maidanek concentration camp, about Dawidowicz's
depiction of all the Jews in the ghettos and camps furtively staying
faithful to their religion until their final steps into the gas chambers.
"When I first entered my block at Maidanek, all the women inmates had
dyed-blond hair," my mother laughed. "They had been trying to pass as
Gentiles." The shocking accounts of Jewish corruption that could be found
in conveniently forgotten memoirs like Bernard Goldstein's The Stars Bear
Witness were deleted in Dawidowicz's fantasy..
'Mention of Irving's name didn't evoke howls of indignation or torrents of
abuse from Hilberg. Instead he recognized Irving's impressive apprehension
of some of the subject matter, although qualifying it--with a touch of
snobbery--as "self-taught," and speculated that his preposterous
statements sprung less from anti-Semitism than love of the spotlight. Of
Holocaust denial in the Arab world Hilberg observed that "they are as
confused about the West as we are about them," while he casually dismissed
the Holocaust denial conference in Teheran as "needless difficulty and
trouble," and said he was "not terribly worried about it."'
All the more reason why Hilberg deserved to be punched in the face.
Jews and Armenia
over whether or not the Anti-Defamation League, under the helm of Abraham
Fox, should denounce the "genocide" of Armenians by Turkey during World
At first the ADL was reluctant to denounce the "genocide," but it was
coming under enormous media pressure (see
) for "hypocrisy" when denouncing Holocaust Deniers and their ilk while
refusing to take a clear "moral position" on the mass deaths of Armenians
It started with a billboard campaign by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
to combat bigotry and celebrate diversity ("No Place for Hate"). That
sparked bitter resentment in Watertown, Mass., a Boston suburb whose 8,000
Armenian-Americans make up nearly 25 percent of the population. Local
Armenians did not object to the initiative, but claimed that the ADL and
its director, Abraham Fox, denied the ugly legacy of the World
War I era Armenian "genocide."
A gaggle of Jewish assimilationist liberals then chimed in as an amen
chorus, denouncing the ADL for "hypocrisy." Some suggested the ADL was
being pusillanimous because Israel does not want to upset Turkey. The
rest of the mainstream media joined. Finally the ADL capitulated and
statement denouncing the "genocide" of the Armenians. Turkey itself
phoned Shimon Peres and asked that Israel persuade the Jewish SWAT teams
attacking Turkey over Armenians to cool it. The ADL fired the regional
director who had triggered the mess
). Ugly comments about Jews being indifferent to the "genocide" of
others filled the web.
The problem is that all those people are demanding that Jews take a "clear
moral" position on a matter that is not morally clear.
Yes, hundreds of thousands of Armenians died during WWI, mostly from
Was that a Holocaust? It certainly was nothing like the Holocaust either
in terms of the dimensions nor in terms of the actual behavior of the
Turks, often bad but not uniformly so (there were also serious Turkish
efforts to provide relief aid to the Armenians).
Since so much pseudo-history has been written about the mass deaths of the
Armenians, I am reprinting here in full the first-rate and indeed the
seminal piece on the fate of the Armenians, which appeared a couple of
years back in Commentary Magazine. Those who believe they know what
happened are invited to read it in full and find some surprises (a bit
long but worth the read!):
The First Genocide of the Twentieth Century?
The following article by Prof. Guenter Lewy appeared in the Dec.
2005 edition of COMMENTARY Magazine, a journal published by the American
Jewish Committee since 1945
The term "genocide," coined in 1944 by the Polish-Jewish .migr. lawyer
Raphael Lemkin, was meant to describe Hitler.s then-ongoing campaign to
exterminate the Jews of Europe. But Lemkin.s interest in this most heinous
of crimes.what he and others would define as the planned effort to destroy
an entire people or ethnic group.long predated the rise of the Nazis.
The atrocities that first drew him to the issue emerged from a different
world war and a different context. They were the vicious actions not of
Germans against Jews in the early 1940.s but of Ottoman Turks against
Turkey.s Armenian minority in 1915-16.
Today, however, the Armenian case remains controversial in a way that the
Holocaust, outside the fevered confines of the Arab world, does not. Like
every one of its predecessors since the rise of modern Turkey, the current
government in Ankara vehemently rejects the charge of genocide, and has
exerted strong diplomatic pressure against any attempt by outsiders to
place the events of World War I in a class with Hitler.s Final Solution.
In this, the Turks have been seconded not just by pro- Turkish apologists
but by a number of respected historians, including, most notably, Bernard
Lewis, the dean of American Orientalists and an expert on Turkey.
Against this view is the great tide of world opinion, from the official
proclamations of various governments and religious bodies to the declared
consensus of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Indeed,
so strong is sentiment on this question that even now, nearly a century
after the fact, the issue continues to color Turkey.s dealings with other
nations. On September 29, the European parliament in Strasbourg adopted a
resolution demanding that, as a condition of admission to the European
Union, Turkey acknowledge the mass killing of its Armenians during World
War I as an instance of genocide. And even beyond the issue of what
happened in 1915-16 and its relevance to Turkey.s political situation
today, the Armenian case continues to occupy a place of precedence in the
litany of all subsequent instances of mass murder and .ethnic cleansing,.
including most recently the killings in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Rwanda in the
1990.s and those in Sudan today.
No one, it should be stressed, disputes the extent of Armenian suffering
at the hands of the Turks.
With little or no notice, the Ottoman government forced Armenian men,
women, and children to leave their historic communities; during the
subsequent harrowing trek over mountains and through deserts, large
numbers of them died of starvation and disease, or were murdered. Although
the absence of good statistics on the size of the pre-war Armenian
population in Turkey makes it impossible to establish the true extent of
the loss of life, reliable estimates put the number of deaths at more than
650,000, or around 40 percent of a total Armenian population of 1.75
The historical question at issue is premeditation that is, whether the
Turkish regime intentionally organized the annihilation of its Armenian
minority. According to the Genocide Convention of 1948, such an intent to
destroy a group is a necessary condition of genocide; most other
definitions of this crime of crimes similarly insist upon the centrality
of malicious intent. Hence the crucial problem to be addressed is not the
huge loss of life in and of itself but rather whether the Turkish
government deliberately sought the deaths that we know to have occurred.
The Armenians have lived in the southern Caucasus, between the Black Sea
and the Caspian Sea, since ancient times. In the early 4th century c.e.,
they were the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion. Much
of their long history, however, has been spent under foreign rule. The
last independent Armenian state (before the present-day, post-Soviet
Republic of Armenia) fell in 1375, and by the early 16th century most
Armenians were subjects of the Ottoman Empire. Under the millet system
instituted by Sultan Mohammed II (1451-1481), they enjoyed religious,
cultural, and social autonomy as a .loyal community,. a status that lasted
well into the 19th century.
Though large numbers of Armenians settled in Constantinople and in other
Ottoman towns, where they prospered as merchants, bankers, and artisans,
the majority continued to live as peasants in eastern Anatolia. During the
autocratic rule of Abdul Hamid II (1876-1909), the lot of the Armenians
deteriorated, and nationalistic sentiment began to emerge. In June 1890,
Armenian students in the Russian-controlled area of the Caucasus organized
the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Demanding the political and
economic emancipation of Turkish Armenia, the Dashnaks (as they were
known) waged guerrilla warfare against Turkish army units, gendarmerie
posts, and Kurdish villages involved in attacks on Armenians. They
operated from bases in the Caucasus and Persia and took advantage of
eastern Anatolia.s mountainous terrain.
When, in 1908, the nationalist, modernizing movement known as the Young
Turks seized power in Constantinople in a bloodless coup, the Dashnaks
declared an end to their fighting. But the truce did not last. With
Turkey.s entry into World War I on the side of Germany and against Russia,
the Armenians. traditional ally, the Dashnaks resumed their armed
resistance. By April 1915, Armenian guerrilla activities had picked up
momentum. Roads and communication lines were cut. Henry Morgenthau, the
American ambassador in Constantinople, reported to Washington on May 25
that nobody put the Armenian guerrillas .at less than 10,000, and 25,000
is probably closer to the truth.. Meanwhile, the Russian branch of the
Dashnaks was organizing volunteers to fight the Turks on the Caucasus
Most of these volunteers.numbering 15,000, according to one Armenian
source.were themselves Russian subjects, exempt from military service, but
some of them were Turkish Armenians who had crossed the border to join the
volunteer units. Offers of help also poured in from the Armenian diaspora,
from as far away as Western Europe and the U.S. In March 1915, the Dashnak
organization in Sofia, Bulgaria, proposed to land 20,000 volunteers on the
Turkish coast in the Armenian stronghold of Cilicia. That same month, the
Boston-based Armenian National Defense Committee of America informed the
British foreign secretary that it was making .preparations for the purpose
of sending volunteers to Cilicia, where a large section of the Armenian
population will unfurl the banner of insurrection against Turkish rule..
It was hoped that the British and French governments would supply them
with ammunition and artillery.
Antranik Toros Ozanian
Turkish fears of an internal revolt were exacerbated the following month
by an uprising that took place in the city of Van. Close to the Russian
border and in the heartland of historic Armenia, Van had long been a
center of nationalist agitation. On April 24, 1915, the Turkish governor
reported that 4,000 Armenian fighters had opened fire on the police
stations, burned down Muslim houses, and barricaded themselves in the
Armenian quarter. About 15,000 refugees from the countryside eventually
joined the now-besieged rebels. Less than a month later, the insurgents
were saved by the advancing Russian army, forcing the Turkish garrison to
retreat. Whether the Van uprising was a rebellion designed and timed to
facilitate the advance of the Russians or a defensive action aimed at
preventing the already planned deportation of the Armenian community
remains one of the points of fierce contention in the historiography of
the time.  Commentary December 2005 When not tying down Turkish army
units, the Dashnaks were of significant help to the Russian army itself
(leaving aside the 150,000 Armenian subjects of the czar who served in its
ranks). Deeply familiar with the rugged mountains of eastern Anatolia, the
Armenian volunteers were invaluable scouts and guides. In one famous
episode, the legendary Armenian military leader Andranik Ozanian met with
General Mishlayevsky, commander of the czar.s forces in the Caucasus, late
in the summer of 1914, pointing out the routes through which the Russian
army could advance on Turkey.
Thus, as the Turks saw it, the Armenian people the world over had thrown
in their lot with the Allied cause and were arrayed against them in a
fateful struggle. Having come to consider the Armenians a fifth column,
the Ottoman regime decided to take decisive measures to put an end to
their treasonable actions. As Morgenthau reported to Washington in July
1915: .[B]ecause Armenian volunteers, many of them Russian subjects, have
joined the Russian army in the Caucasus and because some have been
implicated in armed revolutionary movements and others have been helpful
to Russians in their invasion of the Van district, terrible vengeance is
being taken.. In the eyes of the Young Turks, however, the issue was not
so much vengeance as national survival in a situation of extreme danger
caused by serious military setbacks. The British had taken Basra in
Mesopotamia and were moving toward Baghdad. The Allies had launched their
assaults on the Dardanelles. Fearing the fall of the capital, the Turks
were making preparations to evacuate the sultan and the treasury from
Constantinople. Meanwhile, Russian troops were advancing into eastern
Anatolia, and Armenian guerrillas were active in the rear of the Turkish
army, threatening the very lifelines of the empire. Even if only a limited
number of Armenians had actually taken up arms, the authorities in
Constantinople understood themselves to be dealing with a population of
Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the war and at the Paris peace
conference in 1919, the Armenians would make no bones about their
contribution to the Allied victory. To the contrary: Boghos Nubar, the
head of the Armenian delegation, asserted in late October 1918 that his
people had in fact been belligerents, fighting alongside the Allies on all
fronts; in particular, he wrote to the French foreign minister, 150,000
Armenians had fought in the Russian army and had held the front in the
Caucasus after the Russians dropped out of the war in 1917. As Nubar would
tell the peace conference on March 8, 1919, the Turks had devastated the
Armenians .in retaliation for our unflagging devotion to the cause of the
Allies.. By means of such rhetoric Nubar was obviously hoping to win the
support of the peace conference for an independent Armenia. But, the
essential facts were correct as he stated them: the Armenians had indeed
supported the Allies in a variety of ways. Ignoring warnings from many
quarters, large numbers of them had fought the Turks, and the government,
with its back to the wall, reacted resolutely and viciously. Although none
of this can serve to justify what the Turks did to them, it provides
indispensable historical context for the human catastrophe that ensued.
There is no denying the dimensions of that catastrophe. The harsher
methods employed by the Young Turks included the killing of Armenian
notables in Constantinople and the eastern provinces. As for Armenian
civilians, perhaps as many as 1 million were turned out of their homes. On
a journey through the most inhospitable terrain, they routinely lacked
shelter and food and were often subjected to the murderous violence of
their government-provided escorts and the Kurdish tribesmen who occupied
the route southward to Ottoman-controlled Syria. Massive numbers died
along the way. Can we account for this tragedy without the hypothesis of a
genocidal plan on the part of the Young Turks? Most authors supporting the
Armenian cause answer in the negative. They cite foreign diplomats on the
scene who, in the face of the large number of deaths, concluded that so
terrible a loss of life could only be an intended outcome of the
deportations. And yet such a conclusion once again ignores the immediate
backdrop against which this horrific episode must be seen.
If one of the main causes of the Armenian disaster was starvation, the
Armenians were hardly alone in experiencing such deprivation. Severe food
shortages were endemic to Turkey at the time. The military mobilization of
large numbers of peasants in 1914, as well as the reckless requisitioning
of their horses, oxen, and carriages, had made it impossible to bring in
the harvest and left many fields untilled for the following year.s crop.
In the spring of 1915, Ambassador Morgenthau told Washington that the
empire.s whole domestic situation was .deplorable,. with .thousands of the
populace . . . daily dying of starvation.. In the late  The First
Genocide of the 20th Century? spring and summer of 1915, the Ottoman
provinces of Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria were devastated by a plague of
locusts, creating famine conditions. To exacerbate matters, Allied
warships had blockaded the coast of Syria and Lebanon, thus preventing the
import of food from Egypt.
Moreover, the food that was available in Turkey often could not be
distributed. The country.s few existing one-track railroads were
overburdened, and shortages of coal and wood frequently rendered
locomotives unusable. A crucial tunnel on the line toward Syria.the famous
Baghdad railway.remained unfinished until late in the war. The resulting
scarcities afflicted even the Turkish army, whose troops, as one German
officer reported, received a maximum of one third of their allotted
rations. In circumstances where soldiers in the Turkish army were dying of
undernourishment, it is not so surprising that little if any food was made
available to the deported Armenians. Indeed, the mistreatment of common
Turkish soldiers, the subject of many comments by contemporaries, makes an
instructive comparison with the wretched lot of the Armenians. Although
.provisions and clothing had been confiscated to supply the army,. wrote
an American missionary in Van, .the soldiers profited very little by this.
They were poorly fed and poorly clothed when fed or clothed at all.. The
Danish missionary Maria Jacobsen noted in her diary on February 7, 1915:
.The officers are filling their pockets, while the soldiers die of
starvation, lack of hygiene, and illness..
Many had neither boots nor socks, and were dressed in rags. The treatment
of Turkish soldiers who were wounded or sick was especially appalling.
Those who managed to reach hospitals.many never did.perished in large
numbers because of unsanitary conditions and a lack of basic supplies.
Patients shared beds or simply lay next to each other on the floor in
facilities that often lacked running water and electricity. Typhus,
cholera, dysentery, and other infectious diseases spread rapidly. As Maria
Jacobsen noted on May 24, 1916, a cholera outbreak in the city of Malatia
was killing 100 soldiers a day. .The army there,. she wrote, .will soon be
wiped out without a war.. The Turks experienced some 244,000 combat deaths
during World War I. As against this, some 68,000 soldiers died of their
wounds and almost a half-million of disease.a ratio of non-combat to
combat deaths almost certainly unmatched by any of the other warring
nations. This terrible toll obviously does not excuse the treatment of the
Armenians, but neither can it be simply ignored in any assessment of the
general conditions against which they met their fate. Many of the Turkish
deaths could have been prevented by better sanitary conditions and medical
care. A government so callous about the suffering of its own soldiers was
hardly about to show concern for the terrible human misery that would
result from deporting a minority population rightly or wrongly suspected
of treason. One of the problems bedeviling the Armenian side in this
controversy is that no authentic documentary evidence exists to prove the
culpability of the central government of Turkey for the massacre of
1915-16. In the face of this lack, Armenians have relied upon materials of
questionable authenticity like The Memoirs of Naim Bey by Aram Andonian.
The English edition of this book, first published in 1920, offers in
evidence 30 alleged telegrams by Talaat Pasha, Turkey.s minister of the
interior, some of which order the killing of all Armenians irrespective of
sex or age. But the book is considered a forgery not only by Turkish
historians but by practically every Western student of Ottoman history.
Similarly unreliable are the verdicts of Turkish military tribunals that
in 1919-20 found the top leadership of the Young Turk regime, together
with a special-forces outfit called Teskilat-i Mahsusa, responsible for
the massacres of the Armenians. These trials suffered from serious
deficiencies of due process; more importantly, all of the original trial
documents are lost, leaving nothing but copies of some documents that were
printed in the government gazette and the press.
It is true that no written record of Hitler.s order for the Final Solution
of the .Jewish question. has been found, either. But the major elements of
the decision-making process leading up to the annihilation of the Jews of
Europe can be reconstructed from events, court testimony, and a rich store
of authentic documents. It is doubtful that the Nuremberg trials would
ever have achieved their tremendous significance in authenticating the
crimes of the Nazi regime if they had had to rely on a few copies instead
of on the thousands of original documents preserved in archives. Barring
the unlikely discovery of sensational new documents in the Turkish
archives, it is safe to say that no similar evidence exists for the tragic
events of 1915-16. At the same time, a number of facts about the
deportations argue against the thesis that they constituted a premeditated
program for exterminating the Armenians of Turkey. For one thing, the
large  Commentary December 2005 Armenian communities of
Constantinople, Smyrna, and Aleppo were spared deportation and, apart from
tribulations that also afflicted the Muslim populations of these cities,
survived the war largely intact. This would be analogous to Hitler.s
failing to include the Jews of Berlin, Cologne, and Munich in the Final
Solution. Moreover, the trek on foot that took so many lives was imposed
only on the Armenians of eastern and central Anatolia, a part of the
country that had no railroads. Elsewhere, and despite the fact that the
one-spur Baghdad line was overburdened with the transport of troops and
supplies, Armenian deportees were allowed to purchase rail tickets and
were thus spared at least some of the trials of the deportation process.
If, as is often alleged, the intent was to subject the exiles to a forced
march until they died of exhaustion, why was this punishment not imposed
on all? Similar variation can be found in the fortunes of other parts of
the Armenian population. While many of the exiles were left to fend for
themselves and often died of starvation, others were given food here and
there. Some gendarmes accompanying the convoys sold their charges to Kurds
who pillaged and murdered them, but other gendarmes were protective. In
some places all Armenians, irrespective of creed, were sent away, while in
others Protestant and Catholic (as opposed to Gregorian) Armenians were
exempted. Many of the deportees succumbed to the harsh conditions in their
places of resettlement, but others were able to survive by making
themselves useful as artisans or traders. In some locations, not even
conversion to Islam could purchase exemption from deportation; in others,
large numbers of Armenians were allowed, or forced, to convert and were
saved. All of these differences, of both treatment and outcome, are
difficult to reconcile with a premeditated program of total annihilation.
How, then, to explain the events of 1915-16? What accounts for the
enormous loss of life? The documentary evidence suggests that the Ottoman
government wanted to arrange an orderly process of deportation.even a
relatively humane one, to gauge by the many decrees commanding protection
and compassionate treatment of the deportees. But, leaving aside the
justice of the expulsion order itself, the deportation and resettlement of
the Armenians took place, as we have seen, at a time of great insecurity
and dislocation throughout the country and in conditions of widespread
suffering and deprivation among Turkish civilians and military personnel.
The job of relocating several hundred thousand people in a short span of
time and over a highly primitive system of transportation was simply
beyond the ability of the Turkish bureaucracy. Many observers on the
scene, indeed, saw the tragedy in this light, constantly citing the
incompetence and inefficiency of the Ottoman bureaucracy. .The lack of
proper transportation facilities,. wrote the American consul in Mersina in
September 1915, .is the most important factor in causing the misery.. The
German consul in Aleppo told his ambassador around the same time that the
majority of Armenian exiles were starving to death because the Turks were
.incapable of solving the organizational task of mass feeding.. A lengthy
memorandum on the Armenian question drawn up in 1916 by Alexander von
Hoesch, an official in the German embassy, pointed to a basic lack of
accountability: some local officials had sought to alleviate the hardships
of the exiles, but others were extremely hostile to the Armenians and, in
defiance of Constantinople, had abandoned them to the violence of Kurds or
Today, the stakes in this historical controversy remain high, and both
sides continue to use heavyhanded tactics to advance their views. The
Turkish government regularly threatens retaliation against anyone calling
into question its own version of events, a threat made good most recently
by its cancellation of an order for a $149-million French spy satellite
after the French national assembly declared in 2001 that the killing of
the Armenians during World War I was a case of genocide. For their part,
the Armenians have also played hardball. When Bernard Lewis, in a 1994
letter to Le Monde, questioned on scholarly grounds the existence of a
plan of extermination on the part of the Ottoman government, a
French-Armenian organization brought suit and a French court convicted
Lewis of causing .grievous prejudice to truthful memory.. But there are
also more hopeful signs, at least on the academic front. In the last
several years, a number of conferences have brought together Turkish and
Armenian scholars willing to discuss the events of 1915-16 without a
political agenda. Turkish historical scholarship has shown signs of a
post-nationalist phase, while some scholars on the Armenian side, too, now
engage in research free of propagandistic rhetoric.
Needless to say, such efforts have brought down accusations of betrayal,
even treason, upon the heads of the offending historians; it would be
foolish to expect genuine reconciliation any time soon.  The First
Genocide of the 20th Century? All of which raises deeply troubling
questions, not least about the role played by the Notion of genocide
itself in perpetuating the almost century-old impasse between Turks and
Armenians. For, once this charge is on the table, any sort of mutually
acceptable resolution becomes extremely difficult if not impossible to
achieve. As the Turkish historian Selim Deringil has written, both sides
need to .step back from the was-it-genocide-or-not dialogue of the deaf.
and instead seek a .common project of knowledge.. If, then, we were to
follow this advice, how best should we judge the Armenian tragedy? The
primary intent of the deportation order was undoubtedly not to eradicate
an entire people but to deny support to the Armenian guerrilla bands and
to remove the Armenians from war zones and other strategic locations. For
the Ottomans, painful experience with other Christian minorities during
the Balkan wars (1912-13) had created extreme sensitivity to rebellion and
territorial loss. Talaat Pasha, the minister of the interior, is supposed
to have told the cabinet in 1915, .We have to create a Turkish bloc, free
of foreign elements, which in the future will never again give the
Europeans the opportunity to interfere in the internal affairs of Turkey..
Ambassador Morgenthau reported being told on several occasions by Enver
Pasha, the Turkish minister of war, that the government had to act
forcefully against any community, however small, that was bent upon
independence and was acting directly against the interests of the empire.
For the human disaster subsequently endured by its Armenian population,
the Ottoman regime certainly bears its due measure of responsibility, just
as it does for general corruption, bungling misrule, and indifference to
the suffering of its own population during World War I. And one can go
further: with the benefit of hindsight, it is also possible to question
whether the severity of the threat posed by Armenian revolutionaries
justified the drastic remedy of even partial deportation. The Canadian
researcher Gwynne Dyer may have put the case most appropriately in writing
that, although Turkish allegations of wholesale disloyalty, treason, and
revolt on the part of the Ottoman Armenians were .wholly true as far as
Armenian sentiment went,. they were .only partly true in terms of overt
acts, and totally insufficient as a justification for what was done. to
the Armenians. If both Armenians and Turks could accept this appraisal,
even as a starting point for further discussion, they would reach an
important milestone toward settling one of modern history.s most bitter
and longstanding conflicts. 
2. Look how upset I got the Moonbats:
"Arab" Jebusites and all!
Friday, August 24, 2007
name Allah for God, I was not ADVOCATING its use, just saying there is
nothing inherently wrong with using it.
We also use "God" which comes from the German "Gott" and originally
referred to pagan deities before it was transformed and adopted for use by
monotheists living in German and Anglo-Saxon society. "Allah" in some
ways has a less problematic linguistic history than "God" as a name for
Hashem/Shaddai/YHV"H/Elokim/El. I have heard rabbis use the term "Allah"
in speech (not in prayer, but in prayer in Hebrew we also do not say
Yes, it is a problem when someone uses "Allah" to refer to an imaginary
evil deity but the same problem exists for uses of the name "God".
Hope that clarifies.
About the Controversy over the Call to use the Term "Allah"
Take the ruckus over the suggestion that non-Moslems refer to God as
There have been countless screams of anguish over this.
Except Allah just means God, is similar linguistically to the Hebrew El,
and Allah is commonly used as a name for God by Jews from Middle East
countries, and in fact by Israelis as well in general, including religious
Jews. Insh'Allah or Chamdu L'lahi are common uses. This is all because
the Allah that Moslems worship is the same single God that Jews worship.
A Jew may pray to God inside a Mosque because Jews and Moslems pray to the
same single God.
And while I confess that I never really understood fully the relation
between the Father and Jesus in Christianity, Allah is the same God as God
the Father in Christianity. In other words, there is nothing offensive
about Jews or other monotheists who are not Moslems using that name for
Then there is the ruckus over the past week in Israel over a crematorium.
Seems there was a crematorium operating near Tel Aviv. Cremation is
generally considered to be prohibited by Judaism (and Islam), because it
constitutes disrespect to body remains. But the crematorium was only
disposing of those who requested it be done with their remains. There are
LOTS of forms of disrespect to the body that are legal and common in
Israel, like tattoos and body piercing. There are Christians in Israel
for whom cremation is NOT prohibited. There are other things regarded by
halakha as abominations, far worse than cremation, that are legal in
Israel and in which the state does not intervene. So why turn the
crematorium into a political issue? Those who find it repulsive, and all
Jews who have respect for their own tradition, should not ask to have it
done to their remains.
2. Maybe he can now get a job at Ben Gurion University?
3. Leftist Media Moonbat Yaron London has a conniption over the study
that claims going to synagogue makes you live longer:
4. Well, at least she is not proposing giving the school girls a surgical
5. The REAL Apartheid regime:
7. Subject: affirmative apartheid does not work
August 24, 2007
Affirmative Action Backfires
By GAIL HERIOT
August 24, 2007; Page A15
Three years ago, UCLA law professor Richard Sander published an explosive,
fact-based study of the consequences of affirmative action in American law
schools in the Stanford Law Review. Most of his findings were grim, and they
caused dismay among many of the champions of affirmative action -- and indeed,
among those who were not.
Easily the most startling conclusion of his research: Mr. Sander calculated
that there are fewer black attorneys today than there would have been if law
schools had practiced color-blind admissions -- about 7.9% fewer by his
reckoning. He identified the culprit as the practice of admitting minority
students to schools for which they are inadequately prepared. In essence, they
have been "matched" to the wrong school.
No one claims the findings in Mr. Sander's study, "A Systemic Analysis of
Affirmative Action in American Law Schools," are the last word on the subject.
Although so far his work has held up to scrutiny at least as well as that of
his critics, all fair-minded scholars agree that more research is necessary
before the "mismatch thesis" can be definitively accepted or rejected.
Unfortunately, fair-minded scholars are hard to come by when the issue is
affirmative action. Some of the same people who argue Mr. Sander's data are
inconclusive are now actively trying to prevent him from conducting follow-up
research that might yield definitive answers. If racial preferences really are
causing more harm than good, they apparently don't want you -- or anyone else
-- to know.
Take William Kidder, a University of California staff advisor and co-author of
a frequently cited attack of Sander's study. When Mr. Sander and his
co-investigators sought bar passage data from the State Bar of California that
would allow analysis by race, Mr. Kidder passionately argued that access should
be denied, because disclosure "risks stigmatizing African American attorneys."
At the same time, the Society of American Law Teachers, which leans so heavily
to the left it risks falling over sideways, gleefully warned that the state bar
would be sued if it cooperated with Mr. Sander.
Sadly, the State Bar's Committee of Bar Examiners caved under the pressure. The
committee members didn't formally explain their decision to deny Mr. Sander's
request for this data (in which no names would be disclosed), but the root
cause is clear: Over the last 40 years, many distinguished citizens --
university presidents, judges, philanthropists and other leaders -- have built
their reputations on their support for race-based admissions. Ordinary citizens
have found secure jobs as part of the resulting diversity bureaucracy.
If the policy is not working, they, too, don't want anyone to know.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hopes that it can persuade the State Bar to
reconsider. Its soon-to-be released report on affirmative action in law schools
specifically calls for state bar authorities to cooperate with qualified
scholars studying the mismatch issue. The recommendation is modest. The
commission doesn't claim that Mr. Sander is right or his critics wrong. It
simply seeks to encourage and facilitate important research.
The Commission's deeper purpose is to remind those who support and administer
affirmative action polices that good intentions are not enough. Consequences
also matter. And conscious, deliberately chosen ignorance is not a good-faith
Mr. Sander's original article noted that when elite law schools lower their
academic standards in order to admit a more racially diverse class, schools one
or two tiers down feel they must do the same. As a result, there is now a
serious gap in academic credentials between minority and non-minority law
students across the pecking order, with the average black student's academic
index more than two standard deviations below that of his average white
Not surprisingly, such a gap leads to problems. Students who attend schools
where their academic credentials are substantially below those of their fellow
students tend to perform poorly.
The reason is simple: While some students will outperform their entering
academic credentials, just as some students will underperform theirs, most
students will perform in the range that their academic credentials predict. As
a result, in elite law schools, 51.6% of black students had first-year grade
point averages in the bottom 10% of their class as opposed to only 5.6% of
white students. Nearly identical performance gaps existed at law schools at all
levels. This much is uncontroversial.
Supporters of race-based admissions argue that, despite the likelihood of poor
grades, minority students are still better off accepting the benefit of a
preference and graduating from a more prestigious school. But Mr. Sander's
research suggests that just the opposite may be true -- that law students, no
matter what their race, may learn less, not more, when they enroll in schools
for which they are not academically prepared. Students who could have performed
well at less competitive schools may end up lost and demoralized. As a result,
they may fail the bar.
Specifically, Mr. Sander found that when black and white students with similar
academic credentials compete against each other at the same school, they earn
about the same grades. Similarly, when black and white students with similar
grades from the same tier law school take the bar examination, they pass at
about the same rate.
Yet, paradoxically, black students as a whole have dramatically lower bar
passage rates than white students with similar credentials. Something is wrong.
The Sander study argued that the most plausible explanation is that, as a
result of affirmative action, black and white students with similar credentials
are not attending the same schools. The white students are more likely to be
attending a school that takes things a little more slowly and spends more time
on matters that are covered on the bar exam. They are learning, while their
minority peers are struggling at more elite schools.
Mr. Sander calculated that if law schools were to use color-blind admissions
policies, fewer black law students would be admitted to law schools (3,182
students instead of 3,706), but since those who were admitted would be
attending schools where they have a substantial likelihood of doing well, fewer
would fail or drop out (403 vs. 670). In the end, more would pass the bar on
their first try (1,859 vs. 1,567) and more would eventually pass the bar (2,150
vs. 1,981) than under the current system of race preferences. Obviously, these
figures are just approximations, but they are troubling nonetheless.
Mr. Sander has his critics -- some thoughtful, some just strident -- but so far
none has offered a plausible alternative explanation for the data. Of course,
Mr. Sander doesn't need to be proven 100% correct for his research to be
devastating news for affirmative-action supporters.
Suppose the consequences of race-based admissions turn out to be a wash --
neither increasing nor decreasing the number of minority attorneys. In that
case, few people would think it worth the costs, not least among them the human
costs that result from the failure of the supposed beneficiaries to graduate
and pass the bar.
Under current practices, only 45% of blacks who enter law school pass the bar
on their first attempt as opposed to over 78% of whites. Even after multiple
tries, only 57% of blacks succeed. The rest are often saddled with student
debt, routinely running as high as $160,000, not counting undergraduate debt.
How great an increase in the number of black attorneys is needed to justify
The most important other recommendation of the Civil Rights Commission is a
call for transparency. As a matter of consumer fairness, law school applicants
-- regardless of race -- need to know the statistical likelihood that someone
with their academic credentials will successfully graduate and pass the bar.
Once informed, they can better decide whether to undertake the risk of
attending that particular school, or any law school at all. If law schools are
unwilling to undertake this simple reform, it should be mandated by law.
Under current practices, law school applicants are at the mercy of admissions
officers for that information; it is almost never provided except on a
class-wide basis where success rates are positively misleading. Minority
students whose academic credentials are substantially below their average
classmates are lulled into believing that they are just as likely to graduate
and pass the bar. When they don't, they may be stuck with the bills, not to
mention the loss of several years of their lives.
The problem is that the admissions officer's job is to enroll students, not to
draw the risks of failure to their attention. Indeed, in some cases, the
officer may be frantic to enroll minority students in order to comply with the
stringent new diversity standards of the American Bar Association Council on
Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. As the federal government's
accrediting agency for law schools, the ABA Council determines whether a law
school will be eligible for the federal student-loan program. The law school
that fails to satisfy its diversity requirements does so at its peril -- as a
number of law school deans can amply attest.
Decades of law students have relied upon the good faith of law school officials
to tell them what they needed to know. For the 43% of black law students who
never became lawyers, maybe that reliance was misplaced.
Ms. Heriot is professor of law at the University of San Diego and a member of
the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
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