Sunday, November 06, 2011
Inventors of the Lies about a "Zionist Lobby Cabal" now linked to Holocaust Denier
Why are John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk Endorsing a Blatantly
November 4, 2011 | 12:00 am
.As the discourse about Israel on university campuses continues to
degenerate, there is growing concern that some of Israel's most vocal
detractors are crossing a red line between acceptable criticism of
Israel and legitimizing anti-Semitism. The recent endorsements by
several internationally prominent academics—including John Mearsheimer
of the University of Chicago and Richard Falk of Princeton—of an
overtly anti-Semitic book written by a notorious Jew-hater illustrate
this dangerous trend.
The book in question is entitled The Wandering Who? and was written by
Gilad Atzmon, a British jazz musician. Lest there be any doubt about
Atzmon's anti-Semitic credentials, listen to his self-description in
the book itself. He boasts about "drawing many of my insights from a
man who … was an anti-Semite as well as a radical misogynist" and a
hater of "almost everything that fails to be Aryan masculinity"
(89-90). He declares himself a "proud, self-hating Jew" (54), writes
with "contempt" of "the Jew in me" (94), and describes himself as "a
strong opponent of … Jewish-ness" (186). His writings, both online and
in his new book, brim with classic anti-Semitic motifs that are
borrowed from Nazi publications:
Throughout his writings, Atzmon argues that Jews seek to control the world:
· "[W]e must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people
are trying to control the world very seriously."
· "American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of
the elder of Zion' [sic] are an authentic document or rather a forgery
irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy."
Atzmon expands on this theme in The Wandering Who?, repeatedly
conflating "the Jews" and "the Zionist":
· He calls the recent credit crunch "the Zio-punch" (22) and says
it was not "a Jewish conspiracy" because "it was all in the open"
· Paul Wolfowitz, Rahm Emmanuel, and other members of "the Jewish
elite" remain abroad instead of moving to "Zion" because they "have
proved far more effective for the Zionist cause by staying where they
· The American media "failed to warn the American people of the
enemy within" because of money (27).
Atzmon has written that Jews are evil and a menace to humanity:
· "With Fagin and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ
trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish
· "The Homo Zionicus quickly became a mass murderer, detached from
any recognised form of ethical thinking and engaged in a colossal
crime against humanity."
Atzmon rehearses many of these ideas in The Wandering Who?:
· "[T]o be a Jew is a deep commitment that goes far beyond any
legal or moral order" (20) and this commitment "pulls more and more
Jews into an obscure, dangerous and unethical fellowship" (21).
· If Iran and Israel fight a nuclear war that kills tens of
millions of people, "some may be bold enough to argue that 'Hitler
might have been right after all'" (179).
Atzmon regularly urges his readers to doubt the Holocaust and to
reject Jewish history:
· "It took me years to accept that the Holocaust narrative, in its
current form, doesn't make any historical sense. … If, for instance,
the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich (Judenrein—free of Jews),
or even dead, as the Zionist narrative insists, how come they marched
hundreds of thousands of them back into the Reich at the end of the
· "[E]ven if we accept the Holocaust as the new Anglo-American
liberal-democratic religion, we must allow people to be atheists."
Atzmon reprises some of this language in The Wandering Who?:
· Children should be allowed to question, as he did, "how the
teacher could know that these accusations of Jews making Matza out of
young Goyim's blood were indeed empty or groundless" (185).
· "The Holocaust religion is probably as old as the Jews themselves" (153).
· The history of Jewish persecution is a myth, and if there was
any persecution the Jews brought it on themselves (175, 182).
Atzmon argues that Jews are corrupt and responsible for "why" they are "hated":
· "[I]n order to promote Zionist interests, Israel must generate
significant anti-Jewish sentiment. Cruelty against Palestinian
civilians is a favourite Israeli means of achieving this aim."
· "Jews may have managed to drop their God, but they have
maintained goy-hating and racist ideologies at the heart of their
newly emerging secular political identity. This explains why some
Talmudic goy-hating elements have been transformed within the Zionist
discourse into genocidal practices."
Atzmon returns to this theme repeatedly in The Wandering Who?:
· The "Judaic God" described in Deuteronomy 6:10-12 "is an evil
deity, who leads his people to plunder, robbery and theft" (120).
Atzmon explains that "Israel and Zionism … have instituted the plunder
promised by the Hebrew God in the Judaic holy scriptures" (121).
· The moral of the Book of Esther is that Jews "had better
infiltrate the corridors of power" if they wish to survive (158).
Finally, Atzmon repeatedly declares that Israel is worse than the
Nazis and has actually "apologized" to the Nazis for having earlier
compared them to Israel:
· "Many of us including me tend to equate Israel to Nazi Germany.
Rather often I myself join others and argue that Israelis are the
Nazis of our time. I want to take this opportunity to amend my
statement. Israelis are not the Nazis of our time and the Nazis were
not the Israelis of their time. Israel, is in fact far worse than Nazi
Germany and the above equation is simply meaningless and misleading."
In light of this Der Stürmer-like bigotry against Jews, it should come
as no surprise that even some of the most hard-core anti-Israel
activists have shunned Atzmon out of fear that his anti-Semitism will
discredit their cause. Tony Greenstein, a self-styled "anti-Zionist"
who recently participated in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign's
unprecedented disruption of an Israel Philharmonic Orchestra concert
in London (which Greenstein compared to protesting the Berlin
Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1930s), denounced The Wandering Who? as
"a poisonous anti-Semitic tome." Sue Blackwell, who co-wrote the
Association of University Teachers' motion to boycott Israeli
universities in 2005, removed all links to Atzmon from her website and
placed Atzmon on her list of "nasties" along with David Irving and
Israel Shamir. Socialist Worker, a website that frequently refers to
Israeli "apartheid" and publishes articles with titles such as
"Israel's murderous violence," removed an interview with Atzmon and
called the evidence of Atzmon's anti-Semitism "damning." At least ten
authors associated with the Leftist publisher that published The
Wandering Who? have called on the publisher to distance itself from
Atzmon's views, explaining that the "thrust of Atzmon's work is to
normalise and legitimise anti-Semitism."
Hard-core neo-Nazis, racists, anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers, on
the other hand, have happily counted Atzmon as one of their own. David
Duke, America's premier white supremacist, has posted more than a
dozen of Atzmon's articles on his website over the past five years and
recently praised Atzmon for "writ[ing] such fine articles exposing the
evil of Zionism and Jewish supremacism." Kevin MacDonald, a professor
at Cal State Long Beach whose colleagues formally disassociated
themselves from his "anti-Semitic and white ethnocentric views,"
called Atzmon's book "an invaluable account by someone who clearly
understands the main symptoms of Jewish pathology." Israel Shamir, a
Holocaust denier ("We must deny the concept of Holocaust without doubt
and hesitation") who argues that Jews ritually murdered Christian
children for their blood and that "The rule of the Elders of Zion is
already upon us," refers to Atzmon as a "good friend" and calls Atzmon
one of "the shining stars of the battle" against "the Jewish
But neither Atzmon's well-established reputation for anti-Semitism nor
the copious anti-Semitic filth that fills The Wandering Who? has
deterred Professors John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk from actively
endorsing Atzmon's work. Mearsheimer, the Harrison Distinguished
Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago
and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, calls The
Wandering Who? a "fascinating" book that "should be read widely by
Jews and non-Jews alike." Falk, Milibank Professor of International
Law Emeritus at Princeton University and United Nations Special
Rapporteur on "human rights in the Palestinian territories," calls The
Wandering Who? an "absorbing and moving" book that everyone who
"care[s] about real peace" should "not only read, but reflect upon and
discuss widely." Falk's endorsement appears prominently on the cover
of Atzmon's book. Mearsheimer's endorsement is featured on its first
page. These professors are not merely defending Atzmon's right to
publish such a book; they are endorsing its content and urging their
colleagues, students, and others to read and "reflect upon" the views
expressed by Atzmon. One wonders which portions of this bigoted screed
Professors Mearsheimer and Falk believe their students and others
"should" read and "discuss widely."
Mearsheimer has defended his endorsement (on Stephen Walt's blog) by
questioning whether his critics have even read Atzmon's book. Well,
I've read every word of it, as well as many of Atzmon's blogs. No one
who has read this material could escape the conclusion—which Atzmon
freely admits—that many of his "insights" are borrowed directly from
classic anti-Semitic writings. Mearsheimer claims, however, that he
has endorsed only Atzmon's book and not his other writings. But the
book itself is filled with crass neo-Nazi rants against the "Jew,"
"World Jewry," and "Jewish bankers." He claims that "robbery and
hatred is imbued in Jewish modern political ideology on both the left
and the right" (123). And like other anti-Semites, Atzmon is obsessed
in the book with Jewish names. It was Jews, such as Wolfowitz and
Libby, who pushed the United States into war against Iraq in the
"interests" of "their beloved Jewish state" (26). "How is it that
America failed to restrain its Wolfowitzes?" Atzmon asks (27).
Likewise, according to Atzmon's book, it was "Jewish bankers,"
financiers, economists, writers, and politicians such as Greenspan,
Levy, Aaronovitch, Saban, Friedman, Schiff, and Rothschild who have
caused the economic and political problems of the world, ranging from
the Bolshevik revolution to the wars of the 20th century to the
current economic troubles (27,194). And like other classic
anti-Semites, Atzmon doesn't simply fault the individual Jews he
names; he concocts a worldwide Jewish conspiracy motivated by a
"ruthless Zio-driven" (27) "Jewish ideology" (69) that finds its
source in "the lethal spirit" (122) of the Hebrew Bible. This sort of
conspiratorial drivel is borrowed almost word for word from the
Protocols of the Elders of Zion—the Czarist forgery that became a
staple of Nazi propaganda.
A number of other prominent academics have defended Atzmon and his
endorsers. Brian Leiter, the Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence at
the University of Chicago Law School, dismissed the reaction to the
book and to Mearsheimer's "straightforward" endorsement as
"hysterical" and not "advanc[ing] honest intellectual discourse,"
though he acknowledges not having read Atzmon's book. On the basis of
having perused one brief interview with Atzmon, Leiter is nonetheless
prepared to defend him against charges that he is an anti-Semite or a
Holocaust denier: "His positions [do not mark him] as an anti-Semite
[but rather as] cosmopolitan. … He does not deny the Holocaust or the
gas chambers… ." Leiter should read the book, especially pages
175-176, before leaping to Atzmon's defense. There Atzmon reflects
"that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled
to start asking questions. We should ask for historical evidence and
arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained
by political pressure and laws."
James Petras, Bartle Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Binghamton
University, called The Wandering Who? "a series of brilliant
illuminations" and praised Atzmon's "courage." The list of academics
who have endorsed Atzmon also includes William A. Cook, a professor of
English at the University of La Verne in southern California; Makram
Khoury-Machool, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge; and Oren
Ben-Dor of the University of Southampton School of Law.
These endorsements represent a dangerous step toward legitimizing
anti-Semitic rhetoric on university campuses. If respected professors
endorse the views contained in Atzmon's book as "brilliant,"
"fascinating," "absorbing," and "moving," these views—which include
Jewish domination of the world, doubting the Holocaust, blaming "the
Jews" for being so hated, and attributing the current economic
troubles to a "Zio-punch"—risk becoming acceptable among their
students. These endorsements of Atzmon's book are the best evidence
yet that academic discourse is beginning to cross a red line, and that
the crossing of this line must be exposed, rebutted, and rejected in
the marketplace of ideas and in the academy. (Another evidence of this
academic trend in Europe appeared recently on Atzmon's website, where
he brags that he has been invited to "give a talk on ethics at the
Trondheim University" in Norway. This is the same university whose
faculty refused to invite me to speak about the Arab-Israel conflict.)
Accordingly, I hereby challenge Professors Mearsheimer and Falk to a
public debate about why they have endorsed and said such positive
things about so hateful and anti-Semitic a book by so bigoted and
dishonest a writer.
Alan Dershowitz is a professor at Harvard Law School.
Please note also that Atzmon's followers are some of the central
figures participating in teh "ALEF" chat list operated by the
University of Haifa. For details, go here: