- A French civil servant was sacked in late March
for publishing what has been widely reported as a "violent anti-Israeli
diatribe" on the <http://oumma.com/>oumma.com website, a crime
that was investigated by no less than Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.
Bruno Guigue, deputy prefect of Saintes, wrote that Israel was "the
only state where snipers shoot down little girls outside their school gates."
The author of several books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Guigue
also wrote of "Israeli jails where - thanks to religious law - they
stop torturing on the Sabbath."
- "This is just the tip of the iceberg," Russian-Israeli
author Israel Shamir told Al-Ahram Weekly. "There are thousands of
people sentenced and imprisoned for similar 'crimes', mainly in Germany
and Austria, more than all the dissidents ever imprisoned in Soviet Russia.
The majority of these cases never reach public awareness."
- That a lowly sous-prefet became the subject of the interior
minister's personal intervention for stating the above is astounding, just
one example of the heavy hand of the Israeli lobby in Europe. Bruno Guigue's
real "crime", it's quite clear, was to criticise the state of
- Though not a "Holocaust denier", Guigue is
suffering a similar fate as his fellow anti-Zionists who are prosecuted
under the anti-Holocaust denial laws, currently on the books in 12 European
countries. The most notorious victims of these laws are writers David Irving
and Ernst Zundel, who were jailed for questioning the extent of the death
toll of Jews during WWII and the insistence that the Nazis had a plan to
kill all Jews (Roma, homosexuals and Communists are forgotten in the brouhaha)
as opposed to ethnically cleansing Europe.
- Though an essential weapon in Israel's political arsenal,
according to Shamir, these laws are not usually invoked; they are intended
more as a warning. Rather, writers and their publishers are sued under
broader libel laws, as was Norman Finkelstein, the son of Holocaust survivors,
and his French publisher Aden Brussels in 2004, when he was accused of
Holocaust revisionism and incitement to antisemitism. The Simon Wiesenthal
Centre Director for International Liaison Shimon Samuels testified: "Finkelstein's
thesis is an extremist attack on Jews in general, and American Jews in
particular, accusing them of exploiting the suffering of the Shoah as a
'pretext for their crimes in the context of the Middle-East conflict'.
This thesis constitutes the principal credo of modern antisemitism. He
exploits his own Jewish antecedents in order to attack as 'racist' specific
Jewish leaders, their organisations and the Jewish people. I am convinced
that only a judicial penalty will contain the damage wreaked by this particularly
- Samuels compared Finkelstein to Roger Garaudy, a respected
Marxist philosopher who himself spent three years in a concentration camp
in WWII, who was convicted in France under the Gayssot Law in 1996, which
he argued "restores the law, abolished after Vichy, that defines questioning
of official truth as a criminal offence. It restores discrimination against
anybody who does not submit to one-track thought and to the cult of politically
correct taboos imposed by American leaders and their Western mercenaries,
especially the Israelis."
- The French edition of "Flowers of Galilee"
by Shamir, "a book teeming with incitement to racial hatred"
according to Prosecutor Marc Levy, was seized and actually burned, and
his publisher Cherifi fined in 2005. At the request of the International
League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA), French judges indicted
him for arguing that, "the very concept of Holocaust is a concept
of Jewish superiority", and for referring to the Protocols of the
Elders of Zion as a "political pamphlet". Ironically, the arrest
warrant, if honoured, would have meant deporting him from Israel to France
"to be tried for my stand against Jewish hegemony". He told the
Weekly he considered the conviction a compliment, putting him in a class
with "the great list of authors whose books were burned and banished
in France, from Voltaire to Baudelaire, from Nabokov to Joyce, from Wilhelm
Reich to Vladimir Lenin."
- None of the above writers convicted in this witch hunt
has ever advocated physical violence against Jews. Shamir and Finkelstein
are Jews themselves, though, true, Shamir converted to Christianity. Shamir
told the Weekly that "where public criticism of Israel is absent from
public discourse, painting a swastika on a Jewish grave is not an act of
racism, but rather a protest against Israeli atrocities," and argues
that the stranglehold of the Zionists in European society actually incites
anti-Jewish sentiment. He went on to argue that this is precisely what
they want, in order to complete the ethnic cleansing of Europe that Hitler
clearly intended. "If Jewish fears of racism can be stoked, Jews will
migrate to Israel, the Zionists' goal."
- Vichy thought crimes, book burning, ethnic cleansing
- all recall the policies of the very Nazis that the Zionists rail against.
- But there are signs that the jig may be up. Even pro-Israeli
writer Deborah Lipstadt, despite her legal battle with British historian
David Irving, is against the Holocaust denial laws, as are most historians
and prominent writers such as Timothy Garton Ash, including Jews such as
- In 1996 Garaudy wrote: "In the flood of insults,
nobody has contested my analysis of the control of American politics by
the Israeli lobby and of the financing of the state of Israel as a proxy
of American politics in the Middle East." Yet this is now the core
of a bestselling American analysis of the Israeli lobby, and the outspoken
belief of US law professor Richard Falk, who as a UN advisor, compared
Israeli policies with regard to the Palestinians to the Nazi-Germany record
of collective punishment. Despite shrill condemnation by Israel, he was
nevertheless appointed in March to a six-year term as UN Human Rights Committee
investigator of Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.
- For journalist Ash, the turning point was in 2006, when
the French national assembly approved a law making it a crime to deny that
the Turks committed genocide against the Armenians during the first world
war. He wrote in exasperation that perhaps the European parliament should
make it obligatory to describe as genocide the American colonists' treatment
of Native Americans. "No one can legislate historical truth. In so
far as historical truth can be established at all, it must be found by
unfettered historical research, with historians arguing over the evidence
and the facts, testing and disputing each other's claims without fear of
prosecution or persecution."
- After an appeal, Shamir launched a new French edition
of his banned book (which was always available on the Internet anyway)
in 2006 and published a French edition of essays "Our Lady of Sorrows"
with much more interest than if it had been simply ignored by the establishment.
- The Holocaust denial law was repealed in Slovakia in
2005 and Spain decriminalised Holocaust denial in October 2007. However,
though Holocaust fatigue appears to be setting in as Israel celebrates
its 60th anniversary of independence, Zionist cultural hegemony in Europe
is still strong. After decriminalisation of denial in Spain, Spanish courts
meted a long jail sentence to publisher Pedro Varela of Barcelona and demanded
the pulping of thousands of books, including one of Shamir's.
- Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly. You can reach
him at <http://www.geocities.com/walberg2002/>www.geocities.com/walberg2002/