Shahak "Jewish History, Jewish Religion", 1997 Foreword - was Re: Unz spends weeks perusing the literature, Holocaust apparently not founded in fact - [PEACE]

Zenaan Harkness zen at
Sat Oct 13 19:07:48 PDT 2018

On Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 10:47:23AM +1000, Zenaan Harkness wrote:
> The truth will out yet, and DAMN it's been a long 70 years!
> ** Mainstream Holocaust Narrative 'Substantially, if not Entirely,
> False' - Editor of Top US Conservative Site (Ron Unz)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> by Ron Unz The Unz Review (3,091 views) on Tue, Sep 25, 2018
> The author spends a few weeks perusing the literature, which he
> summarizes in this 18,000 word article, and concludes that the
> Holocaust story relentlessly hammered into the public consciousness
> by Jewish-owned Hollywood and media is a load of baloney. He suspects
> that when the lie comes crashing down, a political earthquake will
> ensue.

So Ron Unz has shone some light, read and reviewed a bunch of authors
and books, one such being his highly recommended Israel Shahak and
amongst others, Shahak's:

 Jewish History, Jewish Religion - New Edition
 The Weight of Three Thousand Years
 Israel Shahak, published 1994, 1997, 2002, 2008 (new edition)

 Here's one instance of the first edition (does not contain the other
 forwards, nor the changes in the 2008 "new edition"):

 Forward (extract) to the first edition (1994)
 Gore Vidal

 Sometime in the 1950s, that world-class gossip and occasional
 historian, John F. Kennedy, told me how, in 1948, Harry S. Truman
 had been pretty much abandoned by everyone when he came to run for
 president. Then an American Zionist brought him two million dollars
 in cash, in a suitcase, aboard his whistle-stop campaign train.
 ‘That's why our recognition of Israel was rushed through so fast.’

 …Unfortunately, the hurried recognition of Israel as a state has
 resulted in forty-five years of murderous confusion, and the
 destruction of what Zionist fellow travellers thought would be a
 pluralistic state - home to its native population of
 Muslims, Christians and Jews, as well as a future home to peaceful
 European and American Jewish immigrants, even the ones who affected
 to believe that the great realtor in the sky had given them, in
 perpetuity, the lands of Judea and Sameria.  Since many of the
 immigrants were good socialists in Europe, we assumed that they
 would not allow the new state to become a theocracy, and that the
 native Palestinians could live with them as equals. This was not
 meant to be. I shall not rehearse the wars and alarms of that
 unhappy region. But I will say that the hasty invention of Israel
 has poisoned the political and intellectual life of the USA,
 Israel's unlikely patron.

 Unlikely, because no other minority in American history has ever
 hijacked so much money from the American taxpayers in order to
 invest in a 'homeland'. It is as if the American taxpayer had been
 obliged to support the Pope in his reconquest of the Papal States
 simply because one third of our people are Roman Catholic. Had this
 been attempted, there would have been a great uproar and Congress
 would have said no. But a religious minority of less than two per
 cent has bought or intimidated seventy senators (the necessary two
 thirds to overcome an unlikely presidential veto) while enjoying
 support of the media.

 In a sense, I rather admire the way that the Israel lobby has gone
 about its business of seeing that billions of dollars, year after
 year, go to make Israel a 'bulwark against communism'. Actually,
 neither the USSR nor communism was ever much of a presence in the
 region. What America did manage to do was to [viii] turn the once
 friendly Arab world against us.

 Forward (extracts) to the 1997 edition
 Edward Said

 Professor Israel Shahak, emeritus professor of organic chemistry at
 the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is one of the most remarkable
 individuals in the contemporary Middle East.
 …Born in Poland, and having survived and then escaped a Nazi
 concentration camp, he came to Palestine immediately after World War
 Two. Like all young Israelis of the time, he served in the army
 …Possessed of a fierce, relentlessly inquisitive and probing
 intellect, Shahak pursued his career as an outstanding university
 lecturer and researcher in organic chemistry - he was often named
 the best teacher by his students, and given awards for his academic
 performance - and at the same time began to see for himself what
 Zionism and the practices of the state of Israel entailed in
 suffering and deprivation not only for the Palestinians of the West
 Bank and Gaza, but for the substantial non-Jewish (i.e. Palestinian
 minority) people who did not leave in the expulsion of 1948,
 remained, and then became Israeli citizens.
 This then lead him to a systematic inquiry into the nature of the
 Israeli state, its history, ideological and political discourses
 which, he quickly discovered, were unknown to most non-Israelis,
 especially Disaspora Jews for whom Israel was a marvelous,
 democratic, and miraculous state deserving unconditional support and

 He then re-established and was for several years the Chairman of the
 Israeli League of Human Rights, a relatively small group of
 like-minded people whose idea it was that human rights should be
 equal for everyone, not just for the Jews.
 …The one thing that immediately distinguished Shahak's political
 positions from that of most other Israeli and non-Israeli Jewish
 doves was that he alone stated the unadorned truth, without
 consideration for whether that truth, if stated plainly, might not
 be 'good' for Israel or the Jews.
 He was profoundly, and I would say aggressively and radically, un-
 and anti-racist in his writings and public statements; there was one
 standard, and one standard only, for infractions against human
 rights, so it did not matter if most of the time Israeli Jews were
 assaulting Palestinians, since he, as an intellectual, -had- to
 testify against those assaults.
 It is no exaggeration to say that so strictly did he adhere to this
 position that he very soon became an extremely unpopular man in
 I recall that about 15 years ago he was declared dead, although of
 course he was extremely alive; the -Washington Post- reported his
 'death' in a story which, after Shahak actually visited the -Post-
 to prove that he was not 'dead' he gleefully told his friends, had
 no effect on the Post which has never printed a correction!
 So to some people he is still 'dead', a wish-fantasy that reveals
 how uncomfortable he makes 'friends of Israel' feel.

 It should be said that Shahak's mode of telling the truth has always
 been rigorous and uncompromising. There is nothing seductive about
 it, no attempt made to put it 'nicely', no effort expended on making
 the truth palatable, or somehow explainable.
 For Shahak, killing is murder is killing is murder: his manner is to
 repeat, to shock, to bestir the lazy or indifferent into galvanized
 awareness of the human pain that they might be resonsible for.

 --- At times Shahak has annoyed and angered people, but this is part
 of his personality and, it must be said, of his sense of mission.

 Along with the late Professor Yehoshua Leibowitch, a man he deeply
 admired and often worked with, Shahak endorsed the phrase
 'Judeo-Nazi' to characterize methods used by the Israelis to
 subordinate and repress the Palestinians. Yet he never said or wrote
 anything that he did not find out for himself, see with his own
 eyes, experience directly.
 The difference between him and most other Israelis was that he made
 the connections between Zionism, Judaism, and repressive practices
 against 'non-Jews': and of course he drew the conclusions.

 A great deal of what he writes has had the function of exposing
 propaganda and lies for what they are.
 Israel is unique in the world for the excuses made on its behalf:
 journalists either do not see or write what they know to be true for
 fear of blacklisting or retaliation; political, cultural, and
 intellectual figures, especially in Europe and the Unites States, go
 out of their way to priase Israel and shower it with the greatest
 largesse of any nation on earth, even though many of them are aware
 of the injustices of the country. They say nothing about those.
 The result is an ideological smoke screen that more than any single
 individual Shahak has labored to dissipate.
 … unlike most others, he does not allow the horrors of the Holocaust
 to manipulate the truth of what in the name of the Jewish people
 Israel has done to the Palestinians. For him, suffering is not the
 exclusive possession of one group of victims.
 …Shahak has admonished his compatriots not to forget that an
 appalling history of antisemtism endured does not entitle them to do
 what they wish, just because they have suffered.
 No wonder then that he has been so unpopular, since by saying such
 things, Shahak has morally undermined Israel's laws and political
 practices towards the Palestinians.

 --- Shahak goes even further. He is an absolute and unwavering
 secularist when it comes to human history. By this I do not mean to
 say that he is against religion, but rather that he is against
 religion as a way of explaining events, justifying irractional and
 cruel policies, aggrandizing one group of 'believers' at the expense
 of the others.
 What is also surprising is that Shahak is not, properly speaking, a
 man of the left. In a whole variety of ways he is very critical of
 Marxism, and traces his principles to European free-thinkers,
 libers, and courageous public intellectuals like Voltaire and
 --- What makes Shahak even more formidable as a supporter of
 Palestinian rights is that he does not succumb to the sentimental
 idea that becdause the Palestinians have suffered under Israel they
 must be excused for their follies. Far from it: Shahak has always
 been quite critical of the PLO's sloppiness, its ignorance of
 Israel, its inability to resolutely oppose Israel, its shabby
 compromises and cult of personality, its general lack of

 …During the 1980s when it became fashionable for Palestinian
 intellectuals and a few PLO officers to seek out 'dialogue' with the
 Israeli doves of Peace Now, the Labor Party, and Meretz, Shahak was
 --routinely excluded--.
 For one, he was extremely critical of the Israeli peace camp for its
 compromises, its shameful practice of pressuring the Palestinians
 and not the Israeli government for changes in policy, its
 unwillingness to free itself from the contraints of 'protecting'
 Israel by not saying anything critical about it to non-Jews.
 For another, he was never a politician: he simply did not believe in
 all the posturing and circumlocutions that people with political
 ambitions were always willing to indulge.
 He fought for equality, truth, real peace and dialogue with
 Palestinians; the official Israeli doves fought for arrangements
 that would make possible the kind of peace that brought Oslo, and
 which Shahak was one of the first to denounce.
 Speaking as a Palestinian however, I was always ashamed that
 Palestinian activists who were anxious to dialogue in secret or in
 public with the Labor Party or Meretz, refused to have anything to
 do with Shahak.  For them he was too radical, too outspoken, too
 marginal with regard to official power.  Secretly, I think, they
 also feared that he would be too critical of Palestinian policies.
 He certainly would have.

 …I have always known Shahak to be a prodigious historian, brilliant
 intellectual and polymath scholar, and political activist; but as I
 suggested above I have come to realize his central 'hobby' has been
 a study of Judaism, of the rabbinical and Talmudic traditions, and
 of the scholarship on the subject. This book is therefore a powerful
 contribution to these things.
 It is no less than a succinct history of 'classical' as well as more
 recent Judaism, as those apply to an understanding of modern Israel.
 --- Shahak shows that the obscure, narrowly chauvinist prescriptions
 against various undesirable Others are to be found in Judaism (as
 well of course as other monothestic traditions) but he also then
 goes on to show the continuity between those and the way Israel
 treats Palestinians, Christians and other non-Jews.
 A devastating portait of prejudice, hypocrisy and religious
 intolerance emerges.
 What is important about it is that Shahak's description gives the
 lie not only to the fictions about Israel's democracy that abound in
 the Western media, but it also implicitly indicts Arab leaders and
 intellectuals for their -scandalously- ignorant view of that state,
 especially when they pontificate to their people that Israel has
 really changed and now wants peace with Palestinians and other

 Shahak is a very brave man who should be honored for his services to
 But in today's world the example of indefatigable work, unrelenting
 moral energy, and intellectual brilliance that he has set are an
 embarrassment to the status quo, and to everyone for whom the word
 'controversial' means 'unwelcome' and 'unsettling'. I am certain,
 however, that what he says in Jewish History, Jewish Religion, will
 be a source of discomfort to his Arab readers as well. I am sure
 that he would say that he is pleased.

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