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Board of Deputies of British Jews: "Pragmatic" Nazi-Zionist Collaboration was OK

The Plot to Stigmatize "51 Documents" on Amazon.com

by LENNI BRENNER

On May 4th, an article, "Board’s Amazon Appeal," appeared on Jewish News, a Zionist website. It reported that the Board Of Deputies Of British Jews, pro-Zionist religious Jewry’s central organization, had complained to Amazon re a book I edited, 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis.

I wrote the Board. It responded. I answered their critique & challenged them to publicly debate the issue. Below is the Jewish News article and the correspondence between me & the Board.

The Holocaust is being heavily memorialized this year, the 60th anniversary of the end of WW ll. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan attended the opening of Israel’s new museum at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Institute. NYC’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, running for reelection, was Bush’s official representative. Documentaries have appeared on TV re differing aspects of Nazism & the atrocity.

Altho historians have examined Nazism in detail in all its complexity, the present general public, world-wide, is interested in little more than the Holocaust, the Jews as victims. Few, Jew or gentile, know anything about the range of Jewish politics in the Hitler era.

What happened to the Jews is constantly utilized in Zionist propaganda as justification for the creation of the Israeli state, the silver lining around the dark cloud of desolation. That’s the tip off that there is something missing: What did the Zionists do for the Jews? There is no 51 Documents: Zionist Resistance to the Nazis.

The Board’s attempt to discredit my book with Amazon, and their response to me, permitted me to briefly document some of my charges. But this is no substitute for delving deeper into the controversy. For this, I recommend looking at my 1st book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, in conjunction with 51 Documents, which contains complete texts of much of the material cited in the earlier work. Zionism in the Age of the Dictators is out of print, but is on the internet at <www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner/index.htm>.

I must thank the Board. Its crude attempt to discredit the book with Amazon backfired. They have put some of their later-day rationalizations for such collaboration out there for the world to see. Now they will have to debate me, or demonstrate, once & for all & forever, that they don’t dare defend Zionism’s shameful politics during Jewry’s desperate hour.

 

***

"Board’s Amazon Appeal"
by Daniella Peled

May 4 – The Board of Deputies has called on online booksellers Amazon to emphasise the controversial nature of a book sold on their website that claims to expose Zionist-Nazi cooperation. The current synopsis of "51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis" by American writer LENNI BRENNER begins: "The Nazi era is the most discussed period in history, yet most Jews and others are unaware of the interaction between Zionism, Hitler and Mussolini."

It goes on to describe the "disservice that the Zionists did to Jews before and during the Holocaust," claiming that the book’s documents were carefully selected "so that a rounded picture of history emerges."

Last year, following a request from the Board, Amazon posted a message on their web page for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, to make the anti-Semitic nature of the notorious forgery clear.

Stressing that Amazon did not endorse the Protocols, the note added: "This book is one of the most infamous, and tragically influential, examples of racist propaganda ever written."

The Board wants a similar warning to accompany "51 Documents." A Board spokesman said: "We have urged Amazon to acknowledge on the site that this book is of a dangerous and controversial nature.

"Currently Amazon has shown an appreciation of our concerns and we are looking at ways of ensuring such texts will not be bought by those who unwittingly believe them to be accurate accounts of history."

He added that other books available on the Amazon site had also raised concerns, including "The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection, by Justin Raimondo," which questions whether Mossad had prior knowledge of the terror attacks.


***

5 12 05 Brothers & sisters,

I have read in Jewish News (www.totallyjewish.com) that your Board lobbied Amazon to issue a warning about my book "51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis." The article can be found at

www.totallyjewish.com/news/stories/?disp_type=0&disp_story=5agkkD

Is this true? If so, can the board send me an email copy of its complaint, including all specifics? All I know is what I read in the above:

"The Board wants a similar warning to accompany ’51 Documents.’ A Board spokesman said: ‘We have urged Amazon to acknowledge on the site that this book is of a dangerous and controversial nature.’

‘Currently Amazon has shown an appreciation of our concerns and we are looking at ways of ensuring such texts will not be bought by those who unwittingly believe them to be accurate accounts of history.’"

Do you contest the authenticity of any documents? Or do you have problems with the translations?

In any case, please let me hear from you as soon as possible, as I intend to contact Amazon in this matter.

Let me thank you, in advance, for your time and trouble in this regard, LENNI BRENNER


***

17 May 2005

Dear Mr. Brenner

Thank you for your email regarding our contact with Amazon.co.uk.

Firstly I must inform you that no written representations have been made to Amazon on this issue. Secondly, you should know that the concern that was raised related not to your book, but to the synopsis of it included on the website.

Whilst the contention that "Zionism betrayed the Jews," stated at the end of the synopsis, is controversial, uncomfortable and simply wrong in the eyes of many people, it is at least given as your personal view. However, the earlier statement that "this book brings to light, through the use of actual historical documents, the disservice that the Zionists did to Jews before and during the Holocaust" is recorded as fact, rather than as a matter of opinion or historical debate and this is particularly troubling.

Zionism is simply the aspiration of the Jewish people for a national home in what is now Israel. It represents the consensus view of the Jewish people. The bald statement as fact that Zionism is a betrayal of the Jewish people is one that we feel should be qualified for the impartial or uninformed observer, as should the assertion that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis when in fact those Jews who did escape to Palestine were in truth fortunate in being able to flee the Holocaust. To misrepresent, as the synopsis does, pragmatism for collaboration (particularly before the Nazis’ policy of extermination was known about) as if Zionists and Nazis shared the same ideals is insulting and disingenuous when, in fact, some of the truest allies of the Third Reich in World War II were the leaders of the Palestinian people.

I am sure that you would not disagree that the propositions in your book are highly controversial and I trust that you will accept that they are of concern to the Jewish community. This concern was confirmed by the list of publications also bought by those who had purchased your book, including titles linking Israel and 9/11. It is clear that this is only likely to endorse antisemitic conspiracies, so often behind modern antisemitism.

We trust that Amazon can find a form of words that, notwithstanding our differing viewpoints, would be acceptable to all.

Yours sincerely,

Jon Benjamin, Chief Executive

***

May 23, 2005

Dear Mr. Benjamin,

Thank you for your reply to my query of May 12th, re the Board’s contact with Amazon.co.uk.

You write that "the concern that was raised related not to your book, but to the synopsis of it included on the website." The synopsis reads:

"The Nazi era is the most discussed period in history, yet most Jews and others are unaware of the interaction between Zionism, Hitler and Mussolini. This book brings to light, through the use of actual historic documents, the disservice that the Zionists did to Jews before and during the Holocaust. Some of these documents were published in English decades ago, but are only now seeing the light of day. Others are being translated into English here for the first time. Included are excerpts from Propaganda Minister Goebbels’ newspaper, Der Angriff, detailing an SS-man’s visit to Palestine as the Zionists’ guest. Readers will also learn about Adolf Eichmann’s account of his personal dealings with Hungarian Zionist Reszo Kasztner, who was later assassinated in Israel as a Nazi collaborator who betrayed 400,000 Hungarian Jews. Also revealed is pro-Zionist propaganda put out by the Nazis, such as a medal for getting Jews to Palestine and a Nazi board game where the object is to move Jews to Palestine. The documents contained in this book were selected with due care so that a rounded picture of history emerges. The author concludes that Zionism betrayed the Jews; and the evidence that led him to that conclusion is contained in this book."

Your complaint is that

"Whilst the contention that ‘Zionism betrayed the Jews,’ stated at the end of the synopsis, is controversial, uncomfortable and simply wrong in the eyes of many people, it is at least given as your personal view. However, the earlier statement that ‘this book brings to light, through the use of actual historical documents, the disservice that the Zionists did to Jews before and during the Holocaust’ is recorded as fact, rather than as a matter of opinion or historical debate and this is particularly troubling."

In my note, I asked if you "contest the authenticity of any documents? Or do you have problems with the translations?" As you raise no objection, we may treat the documents as undisputed.

You restrict your objection to the synopsis’s claim that "this book brings to light, through the use of actual historical documents, the disservice that the Zionists did to Jews before and during the Holocaust." For you, this is "a matter of opinion or historical debate."

As you insist that what the documents show is open to debate, I challenge the Board to exactly that. Let us arrange a public debate as to whether or not they prove that the Zionist movement collaborated with Hitler.

You go on to claim that "Zionism is simply the aspiration of the Jewish people for a national home in what is now Israel. It represents the consensus view of the Jewish people." But no scholar follows you on this. All acknowledge that Zionists were a minority of Hitler-era Jewry. That is even more true of today, when most Jews outside Israel marry gentiles.

You then restate your objection to the book’s thesis:

"The bald statement as fact that Zionism is a betrayal of the Jewish people is one that we feel should be qualified for the impartial or uninformed observer."

You then object to "the assertion that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis when in fact those Jews who did escape to Palestine were in truth fortunate in being able to flee the Holocaust."

But the documents demonstrate that collaboration began when Hitler came to power, years before the Holocaust. In 1933, the Zionistischen Vereinigung für Deutschland, the German Zionist Federation, sent a secret message to the Nazis:

"May we therefore be permitted to present our views, which, in our opinion, make possible a solution in keeping with the principles of the new German State of National Awakening…. It is our opinion that an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural, and moral renewal of Jewry…. Zionism believes that a rebirth of national life, such as is occurring in German life through adhesion to Christian and national values, must also take place in the Jewish national group…. On the foundation of the new state, which has established the principle of race, we wish so to fit our community into the total structure so that for us too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible…. Our acknowledgment of Jewish nationality provides for a clear and sincere relationship to the German people and its national and racial realities…. [W]e do not wish to falsify these fundamentals, because we, too, are against mixed marriage and are for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group."

The ZVfD wasn’t thinking about any future slaughter of Jews. To the contrary, they proclaimed that

"[A] self-conscious Jewry here described, in whose name we speak, can find a place in the structure of the German state, because it is inwardly unembarrassed, free from the resentment which assimilated Jews must feel at the determination that they belong to Jewry, to the Jewish race and past. We believe in the possibility of an honest relationship of loyalty between a group-conscious Jewry and the German state."

They went further.

"For its practical aims, Zionism hopes to be able to win the collaboration even of a government fundamentally hostile to Jews, because in dealing with the Jewish question no sentimentalities are involved but a real problem whose solution interests all peoples, and at the present moment especially the German people.

The realization of Zionism could only be hurt by resentment of Jews abroad against the German development. Boycott propaganda ­ such as is currently being carried on against Germany in many ways ­ is in essence un-Zionist, because Zionism wants not to do battle but to convince and to build…. Our observations, presented herewith, rest on the conviction that, in solving the Jewish problem according to its own lights, the German Government will have full understanding for a candid and clear Jewish posture that harmonizes with the interests of the state."

You charge that the synopis misrepresents "pragmatism for collaboration (particularly before the Nazi’s policy of extermination was known about) as if Zionists and Nazis shared the same ideals is insulting and disingenuous."

But they called for "a solution in keeping with the principles of the new German State of National Awakening." After all, "Zionism believes that a rebirth of national life, such as is occurring in German life through adhesion to Christian and national values, must also take place in the Jewish national group…. [W]e do not wish to falsify these fundamentals, because we, too, are against mixed marriage and are for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group."

Webster’s dictionary defines pragmatism as "a practical approach to problems and affairs." What was practical re saving Jewish lives about any of the above? Indeed, in chapter 13 of Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, I demonstrated that the World Zionist Organization was never interested in rescuing Jews qua Jews, but only interested in building Zionism in Palestine.


***

"The week of terror unleashed against the Jews by the Nazis’ victory in the elections of March 1933 had brought thousands on to the streets outside the Palestine Office in Berlin, but there was still no desire to turn Palestine into a genuine refuge. Emigration had to continue to serve the needs of Zionism. Only young, healthy, qualified and committed Zionists were wanted. The German HaChalutz Pioneers declared unrestricted emigration to Palestine to be a "Zionist crime." [9]

9. Abraham Margaliot, "The Problem of the Rescue of German Jewry during the Years 1933-1939; the Reasons for the delay in the Emigration from the Third Reich," Rescue Attempts During the Holocaust (Israel), p. 249.

***

"The Israeli scholar Abraham Margaliot has written about a speech given by Weizmann before the Zionist Executive in 1935:

‘he declared that the Zionist movement would have to choose between the immediate rescue of Jews and the establishment of a national project which would ensure lasting redemption for the Jewish people. Under such circumstances, the movement, according to Weizmann, must choose the latter course.’" [14]

14. Margaliot, Problem of the Rescue of German Jewry, p. 255.

***

"When, after Kristallnacht, the British, in the hope of easing the pressure for increased immigration into Palestine, proposed that thousands of children be admitted directly into Britain, Ben-Gurion was absolutely against the plan, telling a meeting of Labour Zionist leaders on 7 December 1938:

‘If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel.’" [23]

23. Yoav Gelber, "Zionist Policy and the Fate of European Jewry (1939-42)," Yad Vashem Studies, vol.XII, p.199.


***

You added that

"in fact, some of the truest allies of the Third Reich in World War II were the leaders of the Palestinian people."

But I cited this in a note on page 225 of 51 Documents:

"[A]s many readers will not recognize the Palestinian ‘Grand Mufti’ of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husayni, let me introduce him.

He tried to get rid of the threatening Zionist colonizers by allying himself first with Mussolini, then with Hitler. After the war, he was seen as a major war criminal for mobilizing Muslims in the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia to fight on Hitler’s side against the Red Army and Marshall Tito’s partisans."

For more information on him, readers were referred to chapter 8 of my 1983 book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators. There, I summed him up thus:

"The Mufti gained nothing, then or later, from his collaboration with either Rome or Berlin, nor could the Palestinian interest ever have been served by the two dictators…. The Mufti was an incompetent reactionary who was driven into his anti-Semitism by the Zionists. It was Zionism itself, in its blatant attempt to turn Palestine from an Arab land into a Jewish state, and then use it for the yet further exploitation of the Arab nation, that generated Palestinian Jew-hatred."

The ‘spiritual’ representative of the Palestinian land owners, hence unwilling to mobilize the Palestinian peasantry against Zionist colonization, the Mufti allied himself to the enemy of his people’s enemy. But Zionist collaboration has even less justification. The WZO sought to collaborate with the Jews’ most venomous enemy.

You followed this with another specious argument.

"I am sure that you would not disagree that the propositions in your book are highly controversial and I trust that you will accept that they are of concern to the Jewish community. This concern was confirmed by the list of publications also bought by those who had purchased your book, including titles linking Israel and 9/11. It is clear that this is only likely to endorse antisemitic conspiracies, so often behind modern antisemitism."

If you think that buying Brenner leads to "linking Israel and 9/11," how come being Brenner doesn’t? I’ve written the following re 9/11 and the Israel-did-it fantasy in my 1/15/02 Theses re the 2 US-Afghan wars, which I sent out to my e-list:

"The best analogy to the relationship between Washington & bin Laden is that of Germany’s capitalists to Adolf Hitler in 1929-33. They were looking for an anti-Marxist kickass as Germany entered the world Depression. They weren’t thinking about killing almost 6 million Jews. But that’s what happened when they looked to a right-wing militarized fanatic for the solution to their problems.

Carter & Reagan needed a homicidal holy warrior against the Soviet Union. While neither was exactly a feminist, domestically, they weren’t motivated by personal anti-feminism in backing Afghanistan’s world class male-chauvinists. But, in arming those women-haters, they set in train a chain of political forces that produced one of history’s major disasters, for America, Afghanistan & the world….

Many Arab-Americans feared they would be rounded up, as Arabs &/or as politicals. When TV showed Palestinians cheering the destruction, many convinced themselves that the photos were staged. Some may have been, in the age-old way of photographers everywhere. But, for certain, many did cheer. But soon we saw emails about Israelis arrested cheering the destruction in NY, Israelis with boxcutters on the George Washington Bridge, & Co.

The professional psychological terms for this are simple enuf: Denial & projection.

Most American lefts were not ethnically fearful of retaliation for suicide bombers, so few, beyond congenital Kennedy conspiracy buffs like Ralph Schoenman, are into ‘the Zionists did it.’"

One thing you will admit. As you tried connecting me with a notion that I’ve exposed, you have only yourself to blame for my quoting myself at length, on 9/11, in a discussion of Zionists’ roles during the totalitarian era.

You concluded with "We trust that Amazon can find a form of words that, notwithstanding our differing viewpoints, would be acceptable to all."

Amazon took what it got from my publisher, as it does with other books. It can’t evaluate endless books on an infinity of subjects. Instead, it puts readers’ reviews, pro and con, in conjunction with the display of all books. I see, at your site that no one in Britain has taken up their offer, "Write the first customer review of this item." But at Amazon’s American site, there are 8 reviews, 5 pro-Zionist.

Amazon tries to be fair to authors and customers. It is difficult to see what it could do that would satisfy both sides in political disputes. But we, your Board and I, can resolve your problem. We should organize a debate on Zionism’s 1933-45 role, between myself and you or any one of your choosing. (I specialize on the issue. You personally might be at a disadvantage re dealing with it.)

A structured debate should be organized, in person in Britain. Or it could be done internationally on an agreed upon website, or via a phone-radio or TV hookup.

Obviously debate would publicize my book. But it would also work to Zionism’s advantage. My charges are accepted by the informed international community. Edward Mortimer, presently Director of Communications for UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, praised Zionism in the Age of the Dictators in the 2/11/84 London Times. Zionism, Mortimer wrote,

"started from the assumption that anti-Semitism was inevitable and even in a sense justified so long as Jews were outside the land of Israel.

It is true that only an extreme lunatic fringe of Zionism went so far as to offer to join the war on Germany’s side in 1941, in the hope of establishing "the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich." Unfortunately this was the group which the present Prime Minister of Israel chose to join."

Yitzhak Shamir, Prime Minister, 1983­84/86­92, was a leader of the ‘Stern Gang’ when it tried to ally with Hitler. He is an elder statesman in Israel’s ruling Likud Party. In the 1930s and 40s, several Likud leaders, followers of Vladimir Jabotinsky’s "Zionist-Revisionism," proclaimed themselves totalitarians.

Mortimer continued:

"That fact gives an extra edge of topicality to what would in any case be a highly controversial study of the Zionist record in the heyday of European fascism by LENNI BRENNER, an American Trotskyist writer who happens also to be Jewish. It is short (250 pages), crisp and carefully documented. Mr Brenner is able to cite numerous cases where Zionists collaborated with anti-Semitic regimes, including Hitler’s; he is careful also to put on record the opposition to such policies within the Zionist movement.

In retrospect these activities have been defended as a distasteful but necessary expedient to save Jewish lives. But Brenner shows that most of the time this aim was secondary. The Zionist leaders wanted to help young, skilled and able-bodied Jews to emigrate to Palestine. They were never in the forefront of the struggle against fascism in Europe."

51 Documents includes complete evidentiary texts re Zionist-Revisionist connections to Germany, Italy and Japan, 1933-41, cited in Zionism in the Age of the Dictators. That the Likud has a fascist history, likewise "gives an extra edge of topicality" to 51 Documents’ charges in 2005, the 70th anniversary of Mussolini’s October 1935 invasion of Ethiopia.

October also is the 10th anniversary of the 1995 Million Man March, the largest demonstration in Black American History. The Millions More Movement, the majority of Black intellectual, political and religious leaders, has called for another march on Washington. The Ethiopian anniversary will naturally be commemorated at the gathering.

A jailed veteran of the Black civil rights movement, I will be there. The demonstration has been denounced by Abe Foxman of America’s Anti-Defamation League and Kenneth Stern of the American Jewish Committee, thus focusing Black attention onto Zionism. I intend to satisfy their interest by providing documentation of Zionism’s alliances with white racists, including Zionist-Revisionism’s passionate support for Mussolini’s poison-gas war.

Indeed, Jabotinsky’s 4/11/35 "Jews and Fascism: Some Remarks – and a Warning," admonished Jews that

"there is also a much more important reason for discontinuing to use the term ‘Fascism’ as a cuss word in Jewish discussions. Fascism is today the official doctrine of Italy, and Italy is one of those countries where Jews enjoy full equality not only politically but also socially. Such countries are not very numerous, and their number is, to say the least, not increasing. It is very unwise to insist on antagonizing one of them by turning to abuse a term and an idea which is so highly cherished both by its rulers and by its youth….

Incidentally, the Permanent Mandates Commission which supervises Palestinian affairs has an Italian chairman. In short — though of course I do not expect street-urchins (irrespective of age) to follow an advice of caution — responsible leaders ought to take care."

He convinced Mussolini to train his Betar youth group at Italy’s naval academy. Their 3/36 L’Idea Sionistica described them: "there are 49 cadets…. 30 of them belong to the G(ioventù) U(niversitaria) F(ascista)." That’s Fascist University Youth. They marched alongside Mussolini’s soldiers in a pro-war demonstration and collected scrap metal for Italy’s arms industry.

In 1936, Revisionist financial director Wolfgang von Weisl declared that

"although opinions among the Revisionists varied, in general they sympathized with Fascism…. He, personally, was a supporter of Fascism, and he rejoiced at the victory of Fascist Italy in Abyssinia as a triumph of the White races against the Black."

Promptly accepting my challenge to debate would give your Board and its Israeli colleagues an opportunity to put rebuttal of my documentation in front of the Black world, prior to the MMM event. That’s more advantageous to Zionism than waiting until after the damage is done and hoping to repair it.

On the other hand, the public will understand failure to accept my challenge to mean that the Board cannot defend Zionism before the bar of history. This will permit me to, in effect, debate an empty chair, a debate Zionism must always lose.

In any case, I am sending this email to you on Monday, May 23rd. If I do not get a reply from you by May 31, expressing interest in a debate, I will assume that the Board rejects the project and will so inform the public.

As a report of your intervention with Amazon is already on the internet, I am also making our present correspondence, my note of May 12th, yours of May 17th and this note, immediately available to the public, while looking forward to your reply.

Let me thank you, in advance, for your time and trouble in this regard,

LENNI BRENNER

***

LENNI BRENNER is the editor of 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis and a contributor to The Politics of Anti-Semitism. He is presently editing Jefferson & Madison on Separation of Church and State: Writings on Religion and Secularism. It will be published by Barricade Books in late October. He can be reached at BrennerL21@aol.com.