Dr. Sanchez Responds to Dr. Mathis

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Andrew E. Mathis’ comment on my article, “Transmuting History Into Gold”, includes a libelous claim that my PhD was awarded by a bar/grill/university and follows up with a terrorist threat against my livelihood by demanding that my PhD be withdraw.

He bases his attacks on me on his claim that there are errors in the article, and points at what he considers to be the two most serious errors. He demands that I provide sources for the assertions in my article that so enrage him: I do so below. And note that his claim that I rely on CODOH website is a demonstrably false accusation. (When a “scholar” like Dr. Mathis demands that people not visit a website, my first impulse is to visit that website: I just do not share Dr. Mathis’ belief in censorship, rather I believe that everyone has an equal right to make up their own mind. In the interest of fairness, everyone who reads this should go to the CODOH website.) Before providing my sources, I summarize the two points that Mathis finds so unacceptable.

1) After the Soviet archives were found to include a card file listing every prisoner ever at Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel changed his story and now no longer claims to have been incarcerated at Auschwitz.

In the Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt transcripts, Day Seven, pp. 186-188, the question of Wiesel’s modification of his earlier claims to have been at Auschwitz is discussed. Wiesel himself has now variously claimed to have been, not at Auschwitz, but rather Dachau or Vukenvau. It is certainly worth remembering that Wiesel’s account of his experience at Auschwitz is a novel. The reason why we differentiate between fiction and non-fiction is there is a difference in the measure of reliance we can place in facts and in fiction. I suspect that for most people, Wiesel’s op-ed piece in the New York Times in which he calls for the genocide of Palestinians in Jerusalem probably ends any questions about his moral integrity.

(2) Before World War I, speaking at a Zionist Congress, Max Nordau claimed that Palestine should and would be awarded to the Jews as payback for the death of 6 million Jews.

Max Nordau’s famous argument that Palestine should and would be awarded to the Jews because of the death of 6 million Jews in the First World War (1914-1918) was made at the Tenth Zionist Congress in 1911. The speech is described and cited in “Reconsidering Max Nordau” by Meir Ben-Horin, in the Herzl Year Book: Essays in Zionist History and Thought, Volume II, edited by Raphael Patai. New York: Herzl Press, 1959. The full text of the speech is printed in Max Nordau, Zionistische Schriften. Berlin: Judischer Verlag, 1923, as “X. Kongressrede (Basel, 9 August 1911)”, pp. 205-222 (see especially p. 211). You may find the German language text unhelpful (I do not read German), but there is an English translation, issued as: “Address At the Tenth Zionist Congress, Basle, August 11, 1911”, in Nordau and Zionist Society, edited by B. Netanyahu. New York: Federation of American Zionists, 1941. pp. 191-206 (see especially p. 197: Netanyahu draws attention to the passage in question). Of course, Nordau had earlier made a similar prediction with the lower figure of 3 million Jewish deaths (oddly, the same number of immanent Jewish deaths is forecast in the Soviet Union by Gunther Lawrence in his Three Million More? New York: Tower Books, 1970.). And, we must not forget the annual reports in American newspapers and magazines of millions of Jews dying in Europe that began in 1916 and continued annually until the early 1930s, when many of the mainstream Jewish organizations (but not all) allied themselves Nazi Germany (the Transfer Agreement) to force the emigration of German Jews to Palestine.

Mathis charges that to state that before World War I, that Nordau talked about the deaths of 6 million Jews justifying the Jewish conquest of Palestine is “Holocaust denial”: his charge should properly be addressed to B. Netanyahu, the Herzl Press, and the Federation of American Zionists, in whom I have placed my reliance. Of course, Mathis’ charge of “denial” is just a technique for labeling his opponents niggers, but curiously, in this instance, Mathis’ attempt to smear me as a nigger inadvertently smears Ben-Zion Netanyahu as a nigger. (Ben-Zion Netanyahu, of course, is the father of former and probably future Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.)

I am not a Holocaust scholar and I have no particular interest in it. My field is Middle Eastern history. However, one cannot be aware of modern Middle Eastern history without being aware of the cynical use of the Holocaust to justify Jewish crimes against the Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis, and other peoples of the region. Even to question a Zionist or a Holocaust activist (and the response of Mathis makes it apparent that there is, at least in this instance, no meaningful difference) is to face libelous and terroristic threats, everywhere in the Western World; to face libelous and terroristic threats, even here on Media Monitor Network on the Internet. And behind the threats always stands the blacklist and the Jewish Defense League goon squads.

Postscript:

After sleeping on my response to Dr. Mathis, and on reflecting on the documentation of the Nordau propaganda claim of six million Jews, it suddenly occurs to me why Dr. Mathis was so furious. But sometimes, in the hands of a conscientious researcher (me), even such naked hatred as that of Dr. Mathis (when it fails to simply silence free debate), can lead to an important new synthesis. I certainly never reached the obvious conclusion stated below until Dr. Mathis poked me into noticing it: all these documents had lain in a file cabinet drawer for years without my every really thinking about their significance.

Consider that there remains a debate on how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust: from the American Communist Party claim of 20 million Jews, to the Hilsberg claim of 5.1 million, to David Irving’s claim of perhaps 4 million, to the recent Martin Gilbert-Oxford claim of about 2.5 million, to the Revisionist claims of, variously, rather less than 500,000. But the “holy” number of six million has always remained, and has remained a mystery because no one knows where it comes from, although every American school child is required to learn that holy number. Dr. Mathis was furious because I mentioned Nordau’s speech of 1911, since in that speech Nordau’s argument for the use of a fraudulent claim of six million Jewish deaths to legitimize the conquest of Palestine raises troubling questions about the historical truth of any other claims about six million Jewish deaths that legitimize the conquest of Palestine. Dr. Mathis’ unscholarly response to this simple and verifiable historical question is to threaten me and label me a nigger. But under his hateful gaze, I will summarize for him the significance of the documentation presented above in (2):

The idea that six million Jews were killed in Second World War, in what would be described as the Holocaust, makes its earliest document appearance in the reprinting of Max Nordau’s collected Zionist speeches by the Federation of American Zionists in 1941. In that book, the editor, Ben-Zion Netanyahu (the father of Prime Minister Netanyahu), draws particular attention to the argument by Max Nordau that the consciously fraudulent propaganda claim that six million Jews had died in the war in Europe (and Nordau was talking about the coming First World War) would be the best basis for the Zionist movement’s campaign for mobilizing support for and the legitimization of the Jewish conquest of Palestine.

Mr. James Joseph Sanchez is PhD Doctor (Middle East).

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