That said, disputed reports do exist, and Human Rights Watch is a major contributor to producing them, thereby arousing Zionist ire.
Against that backdrop, several wingnut and Zionist blogs, as well as Israeli newspapers, are busy trashing HRW's military analyst Marc Garlasco over what they consider to be a revolutionary revelation: that Garlasco collects weapons, medals and other objects from the Third Reich.
Do you need to be a Nazi to collect Nazi memorabilia? I don't think so. I myself have a collection of over 200 books and 70 CD's about Judaism and Israel and I can hardly be described as a Jew or an admirer of Israel.
Zionists and wingnuts agree that Garlasco's collection doesn't turn him into a Nazi, but insist this hobby represents a problem, although they don't explain exactly why. HRW, for its part, has issued a statement (unnecessary, in my opinion) explaining that because Garlasco's grandfather fought for the Nazis he developed an interest in subjects pertaining to the Third Reich.
The very idea that what someone chooses to collect can be used against him infringes on the most basic freedom -- freedom of thought. The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv wrote:
Maybe a scientific paper should be written, with a title along the lines of "Evaluating a collection's guilt." Until then, however, all collections should be given the benefit of the doubt and considered innocent -- as should their owners.
It is not clear yet whether Garlasco himself is a Nazi. Those claims deserve close scrutiny, but it seems possible to make do with what we already know. We're talking about a Nazi memorabilia collector. This is not an innocent collection.
All other indictments of Garlasco are similarly vague and undefined. After being falsely warned in an e-mail that Garlasco posts at the Nazi site Stormfront.org, wingnut Omri Ceren at Mere Rethoric writes:
For all his faults real or imagined, the HRW Marc Garlasco is neither crude nor stupid. I would guess that he clings very, very tightly to the belief that he's a history buff who happens, for purely familial reasons, to be utterly fascinated by the Nazis."I would guess...," "I think...," and pseudo-shrink-talk don't substitute for an explanation of what's the big deal with someone collecting Third Reich medals. Notice that Garlasco is neither crude nor stupid. Nor is he unsophisticated like other racists. In fact, Ceren tells us, he's unfortunately so sophisticated we can't make a case against him based on anything other than our guesses and hunches.
I think that's one convenient bridge too far, and that his obsession colors the rest of what he does. I think he has very strong but tangled beliefs about Jews and the Jewish state that spring from a place that has nothing to do with level-headed analysis. But nothing I've read and no one I've spoken to leads me to believe he's an unsophisticated racist like Stormfront Flak88.
Elder of Ziyon, for his part, muses:
Writing a monograph on German medals does not make one a "historian" in any real sense; it makes him a rabid collector. I am fairly sure that his purchase of many of these items would be illegal in many European countries. To deflect those disturbing facts by saying that he also owns a few American air force memorabilia is to dodge the real issue.
It is extraordinarily bad taste and truly offensive that the same person who habitually castigates the Jewish state to a worldwide audience has a creepy obsession with the symbols of those who tried to destroy all Jews.
Again, no explanation of why collecting those objects is offensive. But truly revealing is the bit about the illegality of his purchases in European countries. Anyone not having an issue with such an alleged law can't be described in any other way than as a wholehearted Stalinist.
And that's what we're talking about. The ever growing control of people based on what they think or, worse still, on what we think they think. The laws against Holocaust denial; the working definitions that would make an antisemite of king Solomon himself; the Enquiry commissions that find antisemitism in switching off a lightbulb or turning on a faucet; and now the delving into strictly private affairs of an HRW analyst, are all instruments toward the muzzling of all and any criticism of Israel.