Edwin Black sent me a really long letter responding to many of the comments people have made on my blog. He asked me to share it, so here it is!
The reason I generally stay away from blogs is because it is so easy to omit, distort, reinvent, and fabricate history via little unvetted snippets which are either innocently uninformed or deliberately driven by an agenda. For this reason, I primarily devote myself to writing book-length works that present the facts in context over hundreds of pages with thousands of footnotes in each work. More than that—in every book I insist my readers read the entire book, front to back, or not at all. In British Petroleum and the Redline Agreement I wrote in the Introduction: “I ask my readers to read the entire book without skipping around—or not read it at all.” In IBM and the Holocaust, my Introduction states: “Skipping around in the book will only lead to flawed and erroneous conclusions. So if you intend to skim, or rely on selected sections, please do not read the book at all.” It is uncommon for authors to invite readers to put the book down unless they read it all—but it has been a well-received hallmark of my work.
With regard to this particular blog, Joe’s Israel, I did think it was a good idea to respond to yet another distortion of The Transfer Agreement. I see such distortions hourly on the Internet. From page xviii of the Introduction to the 25th Anniversary Edition 2009, you would see this: “An hour does not go by when the book and the topic is not debated, misused, and misquoted by the enemies of Israel and deniers of the Holocaust.” I thought that would correct the record here. Since then, I’ve seen–on this site, Joe’s Israel–numerous omissions, distortions and fabrications of history and of my own work. I don’t have the time and this blog doesn’t have the room needed to respond as fully as when I write my books and articles. But I will try to take some moments to correct the record here about Mideast history and Holocaust history as well as my own published work. Then I will have to do as I promised before– depart, and allow whatever continued distortions fly to do so without a response from me. This means that when you see replies to this post, do not consider them valid just because I have not rebutted them.
First, let’s deal with Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem. It was stated by Andre De Angelis, “Rubbish. Husseini was in exile from 1937 and ceased to hold any influence from that moment.” Please let’s re-read De Angelis’ last sentence and examine the globally settled facts which can be obtained universally from numerous sources on the internet, archives, books, newspaper clippings, including Husseini’s diary and various published works, as well as my own book, The Farhud: Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust. Andre De Angelis is quite wrong.
Husseini did not just go into exile in 1937. Escaping into the night dressed as a woman, Husseini was a fugitive on a British arrest warrant for complicity in the murder of a high-ranking British official in the Galilee. From Palestine, Husseini made his way to Iraq where, along with a cadre of Nazi Arabs, he organized a fascist movement called The Golden Square. When I say Nazi Arabs, I mean an Arab movement which idealized Hitler, arranged for Arabic translations of Mein Kampf, and worked closely with the Gestapo and the Nazi Party itself. Many members of the Iraqi Arab national youth wing of this movement actually marched in the torch-lit parades in Nuremberg. In some cases they even adopted the swastika as part of their political party emblem. You can see a typical surviving example today at the Syrian National Socialist Party website named for Nazi National Socialism; in Syria this logo infuses the swastika as an emblem in motion.
The statement by De Angelis, “Husseini…from 1937…ceased to hold any influence from that moment” is especially wrong and should be dismissed by everyone for going against all history. Robust documentation from the Arabic sources to the English sources makes it completely clear that beginning in 1936 —and then after Husseini fled Palestine, the Mufti was chairman of the international Arab Higher Committee. This pan-Arab organization sought to unite Arabs and Muslims worldwide against the Jews and Great Britain in favor of Arab Nationalism and the Nazis. See UN document circa 1949 for a single molecule of this story referring to this Committee. When war broke out in 1939, it was the goal of Husseini and his comrades to interrupt the flow of oil to the Allies and transfer it to the Nazis. The Mufti utilized his special influence and prominence to aid the Nazis.
On June 1 and June 2, 1941, coordinated to precede Hitler’s push into Russia, Husseini and The Golden Square led a two-day mass pogrom of rape, murder, arson and pillage against the Jewish community. That was the beginning of the end for many thousands of Jews who had lived peaceably in Iraq and Mesopotamia for more than 2,600 years, that is, 1,000 years before Mohammed. This horrible bloodletting, which included slicing babies in two and raping young girls in front of their parents, slicing open pregnant bellies and dashing unborn children came to be known as the Farhud, which is a Kurdish-Arabic term meaning violent dispossession. After two days, the British finally put the massacre down and Husseini fled to Iran, where he helped the Shah further entrench his country’s involvement with thousands of Nazi engineers attempting to remake Iran and Iraq into a supply route to help the Nazis invade Russia. Just a few months after the Farhud, when the Shah refused to expel his Nazi advisors, Churchill and the allies invaded Iran and, once again, went looking for Husseini. Husseini escaped once more, this time to Mussolini’s Italy and from there, to Nazi Germany. As the leading spokesman of the Arab Fascist movement, Husseini met with Hitler and everyone can see the iconic photo here and went on a widely-promoted campaign to publicize the alliance see newsreels here, went on the payroll and organized Radio Cairo, where he would broadcast nightly exhortations to kill Jews wherever they were found and to kill them on sight. You may see some of the Mufti’s exact words here if you search Google Books—always a challenge. I have verified the transcripts in multiple government archives. See this Nazi video circa 1941 of Hitler and Husseini, plus some historian commentary following.
Not content with mere extermination propaganda, Husseini organized–under the direct sponsorship of Heinrich Himmler–three divisions of Waffen-SS (see an autographed picture here. See a few more of the many images here and here and here. These three divisions (one division generally requires 10,000 men) encompassed many thousands of Arab-Muslim volunteers; and while their field of operations stretched from Paris to Palestine, they were mainly fighting freedom forces in Yugoslavia and the Balkans. The names of the three Muslim divisions under Husseini’s stewardship were the Handschar, the Skanderbeg, and the Kama. These were not mere militias but regular troops of the Wehrmacht. Many books and articles have been written about these three divisions and anyone can see pictures of Husseini reviewing the troops, congratulating the troops and arranging for their accommodations. Husseini also visited several pivotal concentration camps, such as Sachsenhausen, which was part of a management complex that controlled all camps across Europe. This was well documented in the German archives and Husseini’s own diary, where he describes Eichmann as a “rare diamond.” All Husseini actions, and those of the Arab Higher Committee were devoted to exterminating the Jews in Palestine, and Europe to make sure they never got to Palestine, as well as Reich sponsorship of an Arab National State from Syria to Egypt.
I could go on and on because, in fact, I wrote at least one book on this topic as have other scholars. If you just take De Angeles’ post and re-read his one sentence claiming that Husseini “ceased to hold any influence from that moment ,” you can see what an incomplete, misleading, and erroneous picture you would get. The question that has arisen in my mind is whether De Angeles was just terribly misinformed and ignorant about so entrenched and universally settled a history, or was some other dynamic at play. Not only was Husseini the single most influential figure in Palestine until 1937, he arguably remained the leading influential Arab leader in Iraq, leading up to the 1941 coup and Farhud, and then in the potent circles of the Shah, Himmler, Hitler, and even the Nazi media throughout the worst part of WWII.
Now, let’s go to the issue of the Jews expelled from Arab lands. After Berlin fell in 1945, thousands of former SS Gestapo and camp officials escaped from Germany and took up positions in Arab governments to continue the Hitler program to destroy the Jews within their midst. It isn’t that the Jews left of their own accord. They left their homelands of 20 up to 26 centuries because they were compelled to by expulsion laws that stripped them of their property, freedom of religion, and even of their citizenship. In Iraq alone, more than 120,000 were subjected to these expulsions beginning in approximately 1948. The specific legislation was enacted on July 19, 1948, known as Law 51, criminalizing Jewish existence in Baghdad. Further Iraqi legislation, such as Law 5, enacted in March, 1951, permanently seized all Jewish assets as well as incorporating their de-naturalization. Those 120,000 Jews were expelled to Israel specifically by the Iraqi government to create a demographic time bomb wherein tens of thousands of penniless Jews, with even their earrings pulled from their ear lobes, would land on Israeli shores, with the expectation that Israel could never feed them. Prime Minister Nuri Said publicly demanded that Israel absorb 10,000 refugees every month, threatening Nazi-style concentration camps and even execution if Israeli did not move quickly and every week. Israel and Zionist agencies organized a day-and-night airlift using an unknown American airline, now known as Alaska Airlines; and what was then known as BOAC and BEA, now British Airways, were also recruited. The son of Iraqi Prime Minister Said, Saba Said, was the director general of Iraqi Airways. He was allowed to collect a 7.7 percent “travel fee” on every Jewish refugee, plus a personal payment of 5.5 percent to himself, individually, to ensure his assistance. Here are some pictures of the destitute Jews who had never seen an airplane before and who in many ways resembled their ordinary Arab neighbors. The estimated value of the Jewish property confiscated was approximately $300,000,000 in 21st-century money. A similar scenario played out in Arab states across North Africa and the Middle East. See this May 1948 front page NYT article citing mortal danger for 900,000 Jews in Arab lands. I could go on, but once again, time and space make it impossible to recite similar facts for each country. But, they were indeed similar. These expulsion and confiscation laws were published. These 120,000 Iraqi Jewish people were loaded into airplanes as were many hundreds of thousands of their brethren across Arab countries, and came to live in a country they knew nothing about and often rejected—Israel. They were targeted in their ancient homelands solely because of their religion. Hence, we can look at millions in Israel now who are there not because they fled Brooklyn or Bialystok or Berlin… but because they were expelled by hating government in Baghdad, Tunis, and Marrakesh.
Moving on to respond to Mr. Sieradski, I say this. I think I remember you from when you assisted me at the JTA. If that was you, at the time, I found you very helpful. With reference to The Transfer Agreement, the video posted by another blogger on Joe’s Israel which was mislabeled “New York from 1984,” was obviously from Chicago 1984. It only begins to scratch the surface of the complexity of the Zionist rescue of 60,000 Jews. Because the American public was fundamentally unaware of these complex negotiations, and because it amounted to a stunning hard-to-confront deal with the devil to save Jewish lives, it obviously provoked a great deal of controversy. As a young man, I had a hard time understanding it. While my book has been distorted by more than a few as a piece of anti-Zionist documentation, it is in fact a detailed, minute-by-minute tribute to the brave men and women of the Zionist movement who believed Hitler from the very first moment when he promised to destroy the Jewish communities. The reason the book has been endorsed by the head of the Zionist Organization of America and features an Afterward by Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, is because it re-tells a story so complex and explosive that no one else was willing to re-tell it … specifically, the story of how the Zionists outwitted their killers and engineered a rescue. But it was a tough, shattered glass decision because the first instinct of the Jews was to boycott and fight back. Without that boycott—shown in the Chicago TV footage—the Zionists would have never been successful in saving the thousands they did. They two forces were synergistic. See my article in the Jerusalem Post. And my global TV event on C-Span with Mitchell Bard and Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt answering questions from people submitted from around the world.
More than 6,000,000 were killed. Many more millions, including my parents, became refugees, and many billions of their assets were confiscated or pilfered. They did what Zionists always do–they saved a mere remnant. That remnant was 60,000 out of 6,000,000 and about $60 million out of the many billions. The Zionists led their people out–not into the desert to die–but to re-fortify a new land which had been their existing homeland for millennia and wherein there always had been a vibrant Jewish presence—a land that they could once again call their own.
The sudden Holocaust-era injection of a skilled middle class and their pittance in assets was one of their key vanguards in establishing the foundation that was correctly predicted to accept many more millions of Jews. Had the Russian-Jewish victims of Czarist pogroms in the early 20th century been led into Uganda, as was offered, we might have seen a Jewish homeland in Uganda. But, the Zionists led their people back to the land from where they had been expelled by the Romans. The precedent for The Transfer Agreement goes all the way back to Moses, who not only negotiated with Pharaoh for the release of his people but demanded the goats, sheep, and possessions go with.
A similar approach was taken right after the Kishinev Pogrom in 1903 when Herzl and the Zionists travelled immediately to Russia to negotiate with the Czarist regime to save Jews targeted for extermination—again with a portion of their possessions to restart their lives. Remember, Russia’s stated policy at the time was to kill a third. There was no possibility of a Jewish homeland in those days. Instead, those Jewish refugees went en masse to Paris, London and New York. Daniel—were your ancestors among them? Flash forward a few decades. Had more transfer agreements been successfully implemented in the other Hitler-era European states where they were negotiated but aborted, it is possible that millions more might have been saved from the gas chambers. The Holocaust as we know it may have been of a completely different dimension. The war stopped further implementation of Transfer.
Flash forward once more—this time to just a few years after the fall of Berlin. However, the Arab regimes were unwilling to let their Jews out with even so much as a valuable ring or scarf. Publicly published legislation in those Arab countries took care of that. Back in 1984 when I wrote The Transfer Agreement, there was no discussion of money or assets in the survivor community, and no one wanted to admit that in order to save a few, the Zionists had to negotiate with their own killers. Today, assets, restitution, and reparation are the talk of every hour. My book was a decade ahead of its time and even I was not ready for it in 1984.
Daniel… As far as IBM and the Holocaust being discredited, as you stated, it is true that there were several attempts to distort the facts by reviewers with an agenda. But, many of those writers issued stunning, embarrassing retractions, and paid money damages as they publicly apologized for their false statements. See them here, Daniel. I feel there is no person and no entity too big or too small to issue a retraction for false statements about my work. In that vein, the retractions I posted on that page include obscure blogs in the US and Australia, academic journals– well-known and little-known, media–big and small, and bloggers–major and minor. I consider it a duty to correct the record, Daniel. I have proven time and again, as recently as last year, that I will commit the necessary resources to correct false statements. Fair comment is fair comment. Opinions are free of charge. I expect all to live by the same standard I live by—opinion is opinion–but false facts have a consequence. When I lecture to journ classes, I like to say “I tremble before I type.” If I went to the ends of the earth to document the facts about IBM’s Holocaust complicity, why would I stand by to see the work falsified? Those who signed these public retractions—check them here again— often retained expensive and powerful attorneys, and tried to rally others to dissuade me. But, the good news, Daniel, is that the truth will always prevail. I never back down from pursuing a corrected record. So yes, you may find some negative reviews among the thousands, but ask this… have those reviews been discredited, withdrawn, apologized for, or been the subject of successful retraction requests and financial payments during the past decade. See some other reviews below… http://www.ibmandtheholocaust.com/index.php?page=80172, and http://www.ibmandtheholocaust.com/index.php?page=80173… and elsewhere on the site.
IBM and the Holocaust, now with a million copies in print in scores of editions in more than 60 countries, has withstood the test of time and withstood a decade of trying to find a single error in it. When you accuse a multi-billion company of mass murder, you better have your facts battle-ready. The latest edition is an Expanded Edition, which came out earlier this year, and included 32 additional pages of documentation, photographs and archival documents to deepen the indefatigable case against IBM. See some info on that new documentation here in Huff Post. Understand that despite thousands of media and communal inquiries, IBM has never disputed a single sentence of the book. So if you, Daniel, personally know something the best lawyers on the planet do not know, send it to me offline. The reason the book won two awards, Best Book of the Year and Best Investigation of the Year by the American Society of Journalists and Authors … and the reason that I give continuing legal education (CLE) lectures to scores of attorneys year after year, and the reason I keynoted the European Parliament in Brussels a few months ago on this topic … and lecture to universities here and abroad is because every sentence in IBM and the Holocaust (see some here and here and here and the European Parliament keynote here) is simply true, fact-checked, and uncontradicted by the culprit corporation itself.
Now I know I have expended ten times the amount of energy needed and I’ve taken ten times the space I would normally devote to a blog. (This writing was thrice the size of a typical article for the Washington Post.) It may give insight into why I have no blog, no Facebook page, no Twitter, no Linked-in, etc. Periodically I find the distortions of history and my work to be so moving, so egregious, that I think it warrants setting the record straight. Now I’ve answered the posts, and I will not answer further, because obviously this type of exchange could go on forever. So, whatever is said or not said as a result of these lines, I am now done. However if anyone on the planet who reads this blog had a further question, go to my website and send me your phone number and full contact details plus a good time to reach you indicating time zone. I will call you personally and answer—be sure to mention “Joe’s Israel” and rest assured you will jump the two-year queue indicated in my autosponder. However, please do this within the week and specifically before EOB September 14 as I then go on extended book tour and of course the holidays. Otherwise, good bye and I wish all hag sameach.
September 7, 2012