Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dershowitz: Nazis OK; too bad the Mufti corrupted them

Calling Alan Dershowitz a liar wouldn't be nice. It would be more polite to call him a purveyor of untruths.

But in fact he's a liar. The reason some will find his arguments "compelling" is because once Dershowitz has established the point he wants to make, he proceeds to manufacture a source to support it. That way he can never lose a debate, especially when he's not debating flesh and blood adversaries but a misrepresentation of their ideas, plus one or two straw men.

To be fair, Dershowitz doesn't make up his sources from scratch. He'll take a portion of an actual quote, leaving out crucial but inconvenient information, and will append to it an unrelated bit of argumentation, maybe from another quote that also exists, to obtain something which, while vaguely based on the truth, is a downright falsity.

One example is found in his recent article in The Jerusalem Post, which focuses on the figure of Amin El Hussayni, Mufti of Jerusalem during the British Mandate. The Mufti spent the WWII years in Berlin, where he collaborated with the Nazis to an unclear extent. This is used by Zionists to establish that the Palestinians bear some responsibility for the Holocaust, although there's no conclusive evidence that Hussayni's collaboration enjoyed support from the Palestinian public, and, on the other hand, Palestinian Arabs fought, alongside with Palestinian Jews, against the Nazis in the British-enlisted Palestine Regiment.

Of course, Hussayni wasn't any Arab; he was an Arab leader. But Avraham Stern was a Jewish leader, and in 1941 he offered the Nazis to enter the war on Germany's side (see here for a facsimile of the proposal). The Palestinians can't be demonized for doing what the Jews also tried to do (although the Zionist defense for this is that Stern has been repudiated in Israel, this is yet another lie: streets in all major Israeli cities are named after this frustrated Nazi collaborator).

In that context, Dershowitz claims:

[The Mufti] personally stopped 4,000 children, accompanied by 500 adults, from leaving Europe and had them sent to Auschwitz and gassed[.]

There indeed exists a story involving 4,000 children, 500 adults and the Mufti, but it's not as Dershowitz tells it. As Raoul Hilberg recounts in The destruction of the European Jews, all 4,500 people (from Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania) did manage to emigrate to Palestine (obviously, undetected by the Germans), and the Mufti protested to the Nazis, asking them to take active measures to stop further emigration. His objective was clearly to prevent more Jews from arriving in Palestine, not to block them from leaving Europe.

But it is the second part of Dershowitz's claim that is simply ludicrous. According to him, the Mufti "had them sent to Auschwitz"! Do you get it? The Nazis didn't actually mean to gas those Jews, but the Mufti, more Catholic than the Pope, arranged their transfer to a death camp! The sole idea that a guest of the Nazis could decide whom to send to the gas chambers, or that the Nazis would have needed any encouragement to kill the Jewish people they came across, would cause a roar of laughter among any audience even superficially acquainted with the Holocaust.

To summarize: the Mufti stopped 4,500 Jews who weren't in Europe from leaving Europe; and sent them to their death in Auschwitz against the Nazi reluctance to transfer Jews there. The case for expelling the Arabs from Israel is indeed overwhelming.

13 comments:

David L said...

I laughed out loud at the title of the piece. It is, I suppose, the logical reduction of Dersh's (and others') obsession with the Mufti.

Gert said...

Jerkowitz is one of the most despicable Zionist apologists around and that's saying something.

This vile little man and his sidekick David Horriblewitz (FrontPageMag) single-handedly have more responsibility for disseminating anti-Palestinian smears than the small army of early Zionist mythologisers and smear merchants put together.

Both are particularly popular in the Ultra Far Right US blogosphere, where an unpalatable amalgam of hyper 'patriotism', the stench of Islamophobia, general racism and homophobia blend together to necessitate the donning of armpit-high wellies, gasmask, goggles and other protective gear for those who want to venture into these Tinkerweb sewers.

Jerkowitz, who undoubtedly considers himself 'enlightened', must feel immensely proud that his drivel there is received as the ultimate wisdom, by a mob of angry, third-rate, two-bit 'bloggers'...

Lev said...

you know why the Jewish People always survive AND why you have only 2 comments on this thread? it's because you're a horrible writer -- totally unpersuasive, silly posh, unconvincing ,in fact borderline retarded --read read read Harry's Place and compare the mere stylization of the opening sentence. You are a neanderthal among sophisticates. Among Jews.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

read read read Harry's Place

I would suggest that YOU read Harry's Place -- here.

Ernie Halfdram said...

Of course Dershowtiz is a liar, a hypocrite, and a straw man bashing idiot who consistently brings disrepute to Harvard. But he's also an antisemite, by his own lights: http://bureauofcounterpropaganda.blogspot.com/2007/06/dershowitz-farts.html

Utpal said...

One of the strange things about American academic life in the US is a kind of commercialization whereby prominent (especially Ivy League schools, Harvard being the worst, but I am told Yale as well) "stars" with relatively weak academic records are hired with exorbitant salaries, etc. Dershowitz is not the only one: there's Niall Ferguson (who has one book about the history of finance that is considered academically serious, everything he has written since is kind of silly) and quite a few like these ...

Gert said...

Talking about Harry's place, a certain Edmund Standing is having a go at the Hamas = Nazis flap too, in response to an actually quite well-reasoned piece by 'Gabriel' (it's worth following the link to Edmund Standing's own publication and qualifications - he's a such-and-such a body in... theology - no prizes for guessing which theology). Of course there's not a dissenter in sight, so the Potters can happily play in their own mucky sandbox.

Lev: two comments? Can you count? I suggest you rumble through THB's archives, you might learn something, apart from counting on your fingers, that is...

Greg Potemkin said...

Excellent piece Yusuf.

I should read your posts more often.
.

Tree said...

Talk about incredibly poor writing:

"you know why the Jewish People always survive AND why you have only 2 comments on this thread? it's because you're a horrible writer"


I had to laugh at the cockeyed absurdity of those two sentences.

Ibrahim, that's a heck of a burden on you, isn't it? Parsing the logic of the sentences, I see that the survival of the Jews has depended on your poor writing skills. Not only will Jews as a whole be existentially threatened by your adoption of "better" stylistics, but, through some quirk of the space-time continuum, thousands of years of Jewish survival are personally owed to your lack of "sophistication". Who knew?

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Actually, I never developed better writing skills because I knew that if my posts were more polished and articulate, that would lead to the Jewish people having disappeared some 1,500 years ago. And I like Mendelssohn too much to allow that to have happened.

And they call me an antisemite!

Anonymous said...

With Alan Dorkowitch at Harvard and his Zionist- racist ranting, it certainly has diluted Harvard's Ivy-League Brand label credibility. Wasn't he "appointed" under special conditions of promissory endowment? Oh my, how the mighty have fallen. Well Tyrants and Branded Labels tend to have a lot in common- they wax and wane according to peoples moods and fads.

Paul Hershfield said...

Just stumbled upon your blog. I don't know which was funnier: your piece about Jerkowitz or the posts regarding the miraculous saving of the Jews by your poor writing style. I'm going to put a link to your blog (we could all use a little levity now and then) on our site: EndApartheidAgain.org (ceia-sc.org).

Anonymous said...

I think you're incorrect. Dershowitz isn't refering to Hilberg's version of the story, there are others:

http://books.google.com/books?id=HGkthBwbNg8C&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=4000+500+mufti&source=bl&ots=5PtQdZcwLC&sig=pFX5sn8r602mC6NruBx1E6qBjLo&hl=en&ei=ufe-S_NWyI047IvdlgQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CCUQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=4000%20500%20mufti&f=false

please correct your post