Truth, History, and Integrity

by Gilad Atzmon / March 13th, 2010

Back in 2007 the notorious American Jewish right-wing
organization, the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) announced that it
recognised the events in which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were
massacred as “genocide.”
The ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, insisted that he made the
decision after discussing the matter with ‘historians’. For some reason
he failed to mention who the historians were, nor did he refer to their
credibility or field of scholarship. However, Foxman also consulted with
one holocaust survivor who supported the
decision.  It was Elie Wiesel, not known for being a leading world
expert on the Armenian ordeal.

The idea of a Zionist organization being genuinely concerned, or even
slightly moved, by other people’s suffering could truly be a monumental
transforming moment in Jewish history. However, this week we learned
that the ADL is once again engaged in the dilemma of Armenian suffering.
It is not convinced anymore that the Armenians suffered that much. It
is now lobbying the American congress not to recognize the killings of
Armenians as ‘genocide. This week saw the ADL speaking
out against
Congressional acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide,
and is, instead, advocating Turkey’s call for a historical commission to
study the events.”

How is it that an event that took place a century ago is causing such
a furor? One day it is generally classified as ‘genocide’, the next, it
is demoted to an ordinary instance of one man killing another. Was it
an ‘historical document’ that, out of nowhere, popped out on Abe
Foxman’s desk? Are there some new factual revelations that led to such a
dramatic historical shift? l don’t think so.

The ADL’s behaviour is a glimpse into the notion of Jewish history
and the Jewish understanding of the past.  For the nationalist and
political Jew, history is a pragmatic tale, it is an elastic account. It
is foreign to any scientific or academic method.  Jewish history
transcends itself beyond factuality,  truthfulness or  correspondence
rules with any given vision of reality.  It also repels
integrity or ethics. It by far prefers total submission, instead of
creative and critical thinking. Jewish history is a phantasmic tale that
is there to make the Jews happy and the Goyim behave themselves. It is
there to serve the interests of one tribe and that tribe only. In
practice, from a Jewish perspective,  the decision whether there was an
Armenian genocide or not is subject to Jewish interests: is it good for
the Jews or is it good for Israel.

Interestingly enough, history is not a particularly ‘Jewish thing’.
It is an established fact that not a single Jewish historical text has
been written between the 1st century (Josephus
) and early 19th century (Isaak Markus Jost).
For almost 2 thousand years Jews were not interested in their own or
anyone else’s past, at least not enough to chronicle it. As a matter of
convenience, an adequate scrutiny of the past was never a primary
concern within the Rabbinical tradition. One of the reasons is probably
that there was no need for such a methodical effort. For the Jew who
lived during ancient times and the Middle Ages, there was enough in the
Bible to answer the most relevant questions to do with day-to-day life,
Jewish meaning and fate. As Israeli historian Shlomo Sand puts it, “a
secular chronological time was foreign to the ‘Diaspora time’ that was
shaped by the anticipation for the coming of the Messiah.”

However, in the mid 19th century, in the light of
secularisation, urbanisation, emancipation and due to the decreasing
authority of the Rabbinical leaders, an emerging need of an alternative
cause rose amongst the awakening European Jews. All of a sudden, the
emancipated Jew had to decide who he was and where he came from. He also
started to speculate what his role might be within the rapidly opening
Western society.

This is where Jewish history in its modern form was invented. This is
also where Judaism was transformed from a world religion into a ‘land
registry’ with some clearly devastating racially orientated and
expansionist implications. As we know, Shlomo Sand’s account of the
‘Jewish Nation’ as a fictional invention is yet to be challenged
academically. However, the dismissal of factuality or commitment to
truthfulness is actually symptomatic of any form of contemporary Jewish
collective ideology and identity politics. The ADL’s treatment of the
Armenian topic is just one example. The Zionist’s dismissal of a
Palestinian past and heritage is just another example. But in fact any
Jewish collective vision of the past is inherently Judeo-centric and
 oblivious to any academic or scientific procedure.

When I Was Young

When I was young and naïve I regarded history as a serious academic
matter. As I understood it, history had something to do with truth
seeking, documents, chronology and facts. I was convinced that history
aimed to convey a sensible account of the past based on methodical
research. I also believed that it was premised on the assumption that
understanding the past may throw some light over our present and even
help us to shape a prospect of a better future.  I grew up in the Jewish
state and it took me quite a while to understand that the Jewish
historical narrative is very different. In the Jewish intellectual
ghetto, one decides what the future ought to be, then one constructs ‘a
past’ accordingly. Interestingly enough, this exact method is also
prevalent amongst Marxists. They shape the past so it fits nicely into
their vision of the future. As the old Russian joke says, “when the
facts do not conform with the Marxist ideology, the Communist social
scientists amend the facts (rather than revise the theory)”.

When I was young, I didn’t think that history was a matter of
political decisions or agreements between a rabid Zionist lobby and its
favorite holocaust survivor. I regarded historians as scholars who
engaged in adequate research following some strict procedures. When I
was young I even considered becoming an historian.

When I was young and naive I was also somehow convinced that what
they told us about our ‘collective’ Jewish past really happened. I
believed it all, the Kingdom of David, Massada, and then the Holocaust:
the soap, the lampshade,((During WWII and after it was widely believed
that soaps and lampshades were being mass produced from the bodies of
Jewish victims. In recent years the Israeli Holocaust museum admitted
that there was no truth in any of those accusations.)) the death march,
the six million.

As it happened, it took me many years to understand that the
Holocaust, the core belief of the contemporary Jewish faith, was not at
all an historical narrative for historical narratives do not need the
protection of the law and politicians. It took me years to grasp that my
great-grandmother wasn’t made into a ‘soap’ or a ‘lampshade’.1 She probably perished
out of exhaustion, typhus or maybe even by mass shooting. This was
indeed bad and tragic enough, however not that different from the fate
of many millions of Ukrainians who learned what communism meant for
real. “Some of the worst mass murderers in history were Jews” writes
Zionist Sever
on the Israeli Ynet disclosing the Holodomor and Jewish
involvement in this colossal crime, probably the greatest crime of the
20th century. The fate of my great-grandmother was not any
different from hundreds of thousands of German civilians who died in an
orchestrated indiscriminate bombing, because they were Germans.
Similarly, people in Hiroshima died just because they were Japanese. 1
million Vietnamese died just because they were Vietnamese and 1.3
million Iraqis died because they were Iraqis. In short, the tragic
circumstances of my great grandmother wasn’t that special after all.

It Doesn’t make sense

It took me years to accept that the Holocaust narrative, in its
current form, doesn’t make any historical sense. Here is just one little
anecdote to elaborate on:

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 war? I have been concerned with this simple question
for more than a while. I eventually launched into an historical research
of the topic and happened to learn from Israeli holocaust historian
professor Israel
that Jewish prisoners actually joined the march voluntarily.
Here is a testimony taken from Gutman’s book

One of my friends and relatives in the camp came to me on
the night of the evacuation and offered a common hiding place somewhere
on the way from the camp to the factory. …The intention was to leave
the camp with one of the convoys and to escape near the gate, using the
darkness we thought to go a little far from the camp. The temptation was
very strong. And yet, after I considered it all  I then decided to join
(the march) with all the other inmates and to share their fate.2

I am left puzzled here; if the Nazis ran a death factory in
Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end
of the war? Why didn’t the Jews wait for their Red liberators?

I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be
entitled to start to ask the necessary questions. We should ask for some
conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a
religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws. We
should strip the holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and
treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and

65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should reclaim our
history and ask why? Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people 
stand up against their next-door neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in
the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their
troubled history? If they genuinely planned to do so, as the early
Zionists claimed, why did they fail? Why did America tighten its
immigration laws amid the growing danger to European Jews? We should
also ask for what purpose do the holocaust denial laws serve? What is
the holocaust religion there to conceal? As long as we fail to ask
questions, we will be subjected to Zionists and their Neocons agents’
plots. We will continue killing in the name of Jewish suffering. We will
maintain our complicity in Western imperialist crimes against humanity.

As devastating as it may be, at a certain moment in time, a horrible
chapter was given an exceptionally meta-historical status. Its
‘factuality’ was sealed by draconian laws and its reasoning was secured
by social and political settings. The Holocaust  became the new Western
religion.  Unfortunately, it is the most sinister religion known to man.
It is a license to kill, to flatten, no nuke, to wipe, to rape, to loot
and to ethnically cleanse. It made vengeance and revenge into a Western
value. However, far more concerning is the fact that it robs humanity
of its heritage, it is there to stop us from looking into our past with
dignity. Holocaust religion robs humanity of its humanism. For the sake
of peace and future generations, the holocaust must be stripped of its
exceptional status immediately. It must be subjected to thorough
historical scrutiny. Truth and truth seeking is an elementary human
experience. It must prevail.

  1. During
    WWII and after it was widely believed that soaps and lampshades were
    being mass produced from the bodies of Jewish victims. In recent years
    the Israeli Holocaust museum admitted that there was no truth in any of
    those accusations. []
  2. Israel Gutman (editor), People
    and Ashes: Book Auschwitz-Birkenau
    (Merhavia, 1957). []

Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel and served in the
Israeli military. He lives in London and is the author of two novels: A
Guide to the Perplexed
and the recently released My One and
Love. Atzmon is also one of the most accomplished jazz
saxophonists in Europe. He can be reached at: Read other articles
by Gilad

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