Unhappy Letter to Glen Greenwald

23 May

(Greenwald is generally terrific, especially on civil liberties, but I think his knowledge of Zionist history is deficient. I wrote him this letter on May 22.)

I’m very disappointed with your piece “Al Jazeera deletes its own controversial Op-Ed, then refuses to comment”. I, of course, agree with your criticism of al Jazeera’s pulling the article without explanation, but why do you imply you find Massad’s article “repellent” and why do you tie it to junk like the dissertation of Mahmoud Abbas who claimed that only one million Jews were killed by the Nazis during the war?

You link to what you say is “very aggressive and forceful criticisms of his (Massad’s) arguments” by a blog called “The Camel’s Nose”. The article there says

“the Zionists who worked with the Nazi regime were only a small subset of the diverse global Zionist movement.”

Yeah, except that small subset was the leadership of the global Zionist movement! Within months of Hitler’s rise to power this “subset” decided Germany Jewry was a lost cause and started making deals with the Nazis even though German Jews were overwhelmingly non-Zionists who wanted to stay in Germany as equal citizens.

You quote a Professor Daniel Meyers who admitted there were “periodic contacts” between the Zionists and the Nazis and you quote his mention of the “Transfer Agreement” which he blandly describes as “encouraging Jewish emigration”. Left out is what price the Nazis demanded for the “Transfer”, Zionist active collaboration in destroying the anti-Nazi boycott of the ‘30’s. The “Transfer” worked by having German Jewish property get sent to Palestine in the form of German machinery, oranges, etc. Once sold some would go to Germany refugees and some to the Zionist institutions. So instead of fighting Nazis and boycotting German goods the Zionists were selling German products in Palestine and elsewhere.

Read Edwin Black “The Transfer Agreement” whose book was endorsed by none other than Abraham Foxman of the ADL. He is very clear about the scabbing on the boycott, “In return Zionists would halt the worldwide Jewish-led anti-Nazi boycott that threatened to topple the Hitler regime…” (introduction to 1984 edition). They also actively sabotaged the boycott in other respects.

This “Transfer” was the first major act of appeasement of the ‘30’s (and enrichment of the Zionist movement – Black says the equivalent of $800 million of German Jewish money went to Jewish Palestine)

And read Lenni Brenner, a leftist, who rediscovered the sordid Zionist record in the ‘30’s and wrote about it in “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators”.

Now I don’t particularly like Massad’s formulation that “Zionism is Anti-Semitism”. Zionists betrayed European Jews, but they were hardly anti-Jewish. And I don’t agree with his charge that German policy today toward Palestine is part of a larger continuation of Nazi “anti-Semitism” or collaboration with Zionists.

Yet the record of the Zionist leadership in the ‘30’s with regard to fascism was hideous and huge in its impact. Massad is quite accurate in what he says about that and it’s quite important that that sordid record come to the light of day. I’ve written about it myself here “Could the Anti-Nazi Boycott Have Won”

***********************************
On May 23 Lenni Brenner wrote an article on the Massad article on “The Struggle”. Read it by clicking here.

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