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Was Hitler or Netanyahu Behind the Defacing of Yad Vashem? by Michael Robeson

Why couldn’t Neo-Nazis or Arabs have been the ones to defaceIsrael's official Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, last month? It would havebeen so much easier to condemn the usual suspects for spewing their undyinganimus against Jews, especially during a time in which Israelis were treated tothe first "Miss Holocaust Survivor" Beauty Pageant, an event that was attendedby two of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's Cabinet members. Instead, inan attack described by Yad Vashem’s Chairman Avner Shalev as a “callousexpression of burning hatred” the culprits turned out to be several IsraeliJews and their hatred was directed instead, in Shalev’s words “against Zionistsand Zionism.”
The graffiti included some eyebrow raisers like “IfHitler hadn’t existed, the Zionists would have invented him.” And, “You(Zionists) declared war on Hitler in the name of the Jewish people. Youbrought about the Shoah!” And perhaps most scandalously, “The Zionistswanted the Holocaust!” Accompanying these statements was a crude sketch ofthe iconic entrance to Auschwitz with a Star of David leading to the gate.Hardly the script for a Spielberg film.
An attack on Yad Vashem, the Holy of Holies only afterAuschwitz, would normally be 24/7’d in Israel with politicians, like BibiNetanyahu, assuring their voters that this kind of atrocity would never occuragain, and with Abraham Foxman issuing his usual warnings about the global riseof anti-Semitism. But the Israeli press has downplayed the attack and the NewYork Times has given it scant attention, and for good reason. The perpetratorsthemselves destroy the usual image of anti-Semites; and their shocking graffitistatements greatly complicate the issue of how "hate crimes" and“hate speech” are currently defined. No Arab or Neo-Nazi could have succeeded,like this, in putting a couple of specifically kosher wrenches in the works ofwielding “anti-Semitism” as a weapon.
First, Chairman Avner Shalev himself was forced to make adistinction between an attack on Zionists and Zionism and one on Jews andJudaism. This distinction is one rarely heard from reputable people in theAmerican media who would wish to avoid being labeled anti-Semites. Second, thecontent of those graffiti statements, blaming Zionists equally with Hitler forthe destruction of European Jewry, offers a potentially explosive glimpse of analternative history of WWII and the creation of the Israeli state, damning bothto Zionist and Western leaders whose reliance on the “Good War” and the“Holocaust” narratives, provide a fundamental basis for their increasinglydoubtful political legitimacy.
The Israeli Jews and who were arrested and accused of the“hate crime” are allegedly members of Neturei Karta, a group that refers toitself as True Torah Jews. Neturei Karta is an Orthodox Jewish sect, comprisedof several factions that take some highly unorthodox views on Jewish andIsraeli issues. The factions differ in their beliefs, but all of them areutterly opposed to Zionism and believe that its Jewish state is a sin againstGod, even an abomination. Members of Neturei Karta are hardly representative ofthe kind of Jews that Elie Weisel was thinking of when he wrote: "Whatever he chooses to do,the Jew becomes a spokesman for all Jews, dead and yet to be born." Butthen Weisel is hardly representative of what Neturei Karta members believe tobe a True Torah Jew. As one of Neturei Karta’s leaders, Rabbi YisroelDovid Weiss put it: "TheZionists use the Holocaust issue to their benefit….Zionism is not Jewish, but apolitical agenda.” To be clear, Rabbi Weiss, by making an unfashionabledistinction between politics and religion, was not referring to the BeautyPageant.
Attacks,which would normally be considered acts of anti-Semitism, by Jews againstfellow Jews are not rare. In the past years in America alone, over a dozencases of allegedly anti-Semitic actions against Jewish property were, uponinvestigation, discovered to have been performed by Jews themselves. Thisincludes cases of Jews claiming to have been victims of hate crimes attacksthat turned out to have been self-inflicted. None of these cases received themedia attention given to that of Tawana Brawley. The media’s usual reaction tothese cases is to label such individuals as disturbed or troubled while in theJewish media the term “self hating” is occasionally used. Neturei Karta upendsthese usual equations because not only are they Jews, but they considerthemselves more Jewish than those who regularly wield the equations as weaponsof self protection and tools of self empowerment. One of Neturei’sIsraeli Rabbis, in fact, was beaten during a 2009 visit to Auschwitz. But notby vicious anti-Semitic Poles; rather, he was beaten by a group of visitingJews; and he refused to press charges.
Thevandalism at Yad Vashem comes at a time when the U.S. government is beinglobbied by some Jewish groups to classify all anti-Israeli protests on collegecampuses as “anti-Semitic” and to prosecute the demonstrators under “hatecrime” laws. Should Neturei Karta members decide to vandalize a college Hillelor Chabad office, would Prosecutors be lobbied to go after them with the samediligence taken against an Arab student group? And under the already stricthate speech law, would, say, a Neturei Karta vandalism of the U.S. Holocaustmuseum be prosecuted as severely as one by David Duke or Louis Farakkahn? Notlikely.
Culturalidentifiers and political beliefs play an unspoken and often contradictory rolein deciding how much "hate" is in the mind of perpetrator; and thathatred is often not absent in the mind of the beholder. If Jewish groups are tobe given protection against criticism of their cultural identity - Israel, shouldnot patriotic Evangelical Christians be given protection against anti-war andanti-U.S. government demonstrations? After all, they believe that America is aChristian nation; its wars against Arab countries obviously give them theircultural and religious identity as Americans. Should not this minority group,therefore, be protected from "anti-Christian" hate crimes?  It would serve much to improve Americanpolitical discourse if discussion were permitted about the"Christian" nature of those wars, which Evangelicals so emotionallysupport. But that should not allow us to think the same about any “Jewish”nature in support of those wars. 
The secondwrench in the works is the political content of those graffiti statements - Theaccusation that wartime Zionist leaders were responsible for the massacre oftheir own people. Most readers would consider such an idea preposterous andwhoever believes it to be a lunatic. But considering that Israeli leaders likeBibi Netanyahu have relentlessly accused Iran of threatening the"existential destruction" of Israel with nuclear weapons, even whileheads of Israeli Intelligence agencies contend that Iranian leaders have noteven decided yet whether or not to build them, the question of who is a lunaticbecomes moot. Especially when Israeli leaders know that they have over 300nuclear weapons at their disposal, and have already threatened to use them.
Theofficial website of Neturei Karta's pulls no punches, offering a wide range ofmaterial that gives substance to their attack on Yad Vashem. Dozens of articlesand downloadable books, mostly by Jewish authors including one by the Hollywoodscreenwriter Ben Hecht, provide documented and convincing support for NetureiKarta's claims. In 1933, certain Zionist leaders in America publicly and loudlydeclared war on Hitler and demanded an international boycott of his new regime.Within months, certain Zionist leaders in then Palestine established contactswith the Nazi regime to, among other things, create financial programs to assistmainly wealthier German Jews to emigrate to Palestine. Zionist leaders theremaintained working relationships with the Nazis and with the Italian Fascistsinvolving agricultural and military training for young Zionists right up untilthe beginning of the war. Other relations continued even after war began,including efforts by the Stern gang, one of whose leaders was future IsraeliPrime Minister Yitzak Shamir, to offer their assistance to the Nazi war effort.One is struck by, among other things, the element of "good cop/badcop" in these relations with the masses of European Jews caught in themiddle.
The historytold by the authors at the Neturei Karta website also documents Zionistleader's focus on the priority, not of saving European Jews, but of buildingthe Zionist state by using only the best "human material." Understoodin this way, Zionist policy included eugenic selection in its effort to build aJewish state by transforming European Jewry from a people of the Shtetl tocitizens of the State. Scandalous as this may be, one should recall thatcolonialism and the modernist movement are both illuminated by Enlightenmentbeliefs. They  both propose to improvehumanity by ridding it of backward, supernatural beliefs and ritualisticbehaviors. Zionism, in this sense, was operating in no less a modernist wayagainst those outside of their state building needs than were FrenchRevolutionaries toward Catholics, Christian conquistadors toward Native tribesand the white races in general toward the darker races. The past 500 years ofWestern progress have been an almost endless saga of genocides and destructionof traditional cultures, that is of common people who fail to adapt tomodernism's increasingly politicised materialist philosophies.
Afterreading the books and seeing the documentation of Neturei Karta, the onlyargument that remains in support of Zionist leader's good intentions is thattheir neglect of the non- politicized masses of European Jewry was merelybenign. That argument runs smack up against a book titled "HolocaustVictims Accuse." It tells of Yitzhak Greenbaum, chairman of the‘Rescue Committee’ of the Jewish Association in Palestine. During the war, hewas confronted in an interview about the lack of initiative in his Committee’swork. Greenbaum explained his policy in this way: “And when I was asked, ‘But could you donate from the resources of theUnited Jewish Appeal for the rescue of Jews in Europe,’ I said no. And I sayagain no.…In my opinion one should resist this wave which relegates the Zionistactivities (building the Israeli state) to secondary importance.”
Anyone who wishes to maintain that his and, by extension,his fellow Zionist leader's feelings toward European Jews were neverthelesssympathetic, Greenbaumamplified his statement by later stating very clearly - "One cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews inEurope." This from the man heading the Zionist’s Rescue Committee andresponsible for doing everything possible to prevent his fellow Jews from beingslaughtered. Eichmann himself could not have put it better.
Who are thereal haters? Who are the real anti-Jews? Or, perhaps, a deeper question - Who are the real anti-humans? Thepolitically unenlightened defacers of Yad Vashem, some of whom attended the2006 Holocaust Revision conference in Iran and one of whom was a politicaladvisor to Yasser Arafat? Or those modernist Zionist leaders themselves whoafter the war promoted the construction of Yad Vashem, used it for moraladvantage in their theft and murderous occupation of Palestinian land, use itfor political advantage in their frequent military excursions againstneighboring lands and then regularly accuse the West of not having done enoughto save the Jews from Hitler?
But whatdoes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have to do with this?
Almost exactly two months prior to the defacing of YadVashem, Netanyahu made a speech comparing the “Nazi Holocaust” to the dangersposed by a “nuclear-armed Iran.” When criticized by some of the media for exaggeratingthe threat, he defended himself, stating: "Iwill continue saying the truth to the world but first of all to my own people,who I know are strong enough to hear the truth,"
Members of Neturei Karta would hardly dispute that they areamong his “own people.” They surely think of themselves as being strong, strongenough to take controversial positions on issues that, taken by the goyim,could get them ostracized or put in prison. They know at least one of theirmembers has endured a beating at Auschwitz, more than some “holocaustsurvivors,” such as many of those in the Beauty Pageant, could honestly claim.So, if they are strong, and stronger than most of us - who could barely endurethe cocktail party shame for not having seen the most recent acclaimed film,then maybe they consider themselves, more than most people honestly can, strongenough “to hear the truth”? And then, perhaps, to act upon it?
It is doubtful that Netanyahu will be subpoenaed during theupcoming trial and accused of being legallyresponsible for inspiring the actions of the defendants, the way that Muslimclerics are hauled into American courts and prosecuted for inspiring acts ofterrorism (or, to save time and expense, simply droned by Presidential order).But I have the sneaking suspicion that if Neturei Karta members actually areresponsible, then some of them might just be smirking every time they see theface of their “abominable” nation’s leader on TV. Especially when he says, ashe did, on CNN little more than a year ago: 
“The ayatollahs want…to make another Holocaust…. Butthat's just for starters….They're actually true to their word….This fanaticideology armed with nuclear weapons is the single greatest threat to the peaceof the world.”
Being True TorahJews, how could they not get certain ideas in their heads that the rest of uswould consider lunacy? So used are we to accepting our own.
Michael Robeson
July 4, 2012

[This letter was originally published in shamireaders]