Guest post by Mikey
Tony Greenstein is a notorious radical left-wing anti-Zionist demagogue who is happy to play fast and loose with the facts, if it promotes his ideological cause.
This week the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is not only staging the play Perdition but is also hosting Lenni Brenner. To do this in Holocaust Memorial Week is to say the least distasteful. The play Perdition was vilified in 1987 for historical inaccuracy and antisemitism. At that time Tony Greenstein was a proponent of the play and to judge by his recent comments, he still is.
On January 21, Greenstein appeared in the comments section of Harry’s Place and wrote the following (insults, spelling and grammar as in the original):
One of the ‘strengths’ of Stalinist discourse was its ability to distort the positions and ideas of its opponents in order to discredit them. Hence social democrats were social fascists. Jews were Zionists etc. Harry’s Place shares this in abundance.
Brenner is a trotskyists. He has nothign to do with Stalinism. It’s people like Oliver Kamm, who believes a war in Iraq which has killed at latest estimates about 3/4 million people in order to secure oil supplies is justified who owe their methodology to Stalinism.
In fact, the future Police State manipulators of HH deliberately ignore that Perdition and much of what Brenner writes is based on the Israeli trial of israel Kastner between 1953 and 1956 in Israel, when he was accused of gross collaboration, including pleading for the life of SS COl. Becher and saying he was a rescuer of Jews. Kastner was found guilty of collaboration as a Jewish Agency official and in the case of Becher by both the Supreme and Jerusalem District Courts. Now I may be mistaken but I don’t think either of the above bodies was a sub committee of the Politburo!
So the freedoms that HH devotees talk about is based upon keeping its own audience in ignorance. The fact is that the behaviour of Israel today and its occupation of the West Bank and the means of terror to keep it there are taken from the book of anti-Semitism including the Nazis. Take my word for it? Perish the thought. Read Tommy Lapid in Ha’aretz!!
Oh and all the allegations in Perdition are made by the 2/3rd Jewish escapee from Auschwitz, the non-Zionist Rudolph Vrba who was a non-personality (again shades of Stalin) in Israel because he didn’t go along with the Zionised version of the Holocaust and how it justifies Israel. No doubt Vrba, who escaped with Wetzler to warn Hungarian Jewry of what was coming was also an anti-Semite for accusing the Zionists of suppressing his Auschwitz Protocols to save the Zionist elite.
But the only problem is that even Prof. Yehuda Bauer of Yad Vashem has had to admit Vrba is correct.
I thought it might be helpful to list Greenstein’s factual errors in full.
1. Lenni Brenner’s line on Zionist-Nazi collaboration comes straight out of Stalinist antisemitic propaganda. In his book Zionism in the Age of the Dictators he even invokes Stalinist literature by citing the East German propagandist Klaus Polkehn.
2. The Kasztner trial commenced in January 1954 and the lower court’s verdict was given in June 1955. The appeal hearings commenced in 1957 and concluded in January 1958.
3. Kasztner was not the accused in the trial. He was a witness for the prosecution. It was Malkiel Grunwald who was accused of libel.
4. The lower court’s verdict against Kasztner – regarded by many as a result of his unreliability in the witness box and a political vendetta by the judge – was posthumously overturned by the Supreme Court.
5. Although Kasztner claimed that he testified for Becher as a Jewish Agency official, he had absolutely no authorisation to do so. This was made clear at the Kasztner trial by Jewish Agency witness Eliahu Dobkin.
6. Kasztner was at Nuremberg as an aide to the American prosecutors. He testified for Becher because he believed that Becher had assisted his rescue efforts at the end of the war.
7. The allegations in Perdition were not made by Vrba. Perdition claims that Zionism “worked hand in glove” with Nazi Germany and refers to “the Zionist knife in the Nazi fist.” Vrba blamed Kasztner for negotiating with Eichmann rather than publicising information about Auschwitz.
8. Vrba is not a non-person in the State of Israel. Many scholarly books on the Holocaust discuss his actions and Yehuda Bauer, Professor of Holocaust Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, praises him as “one of the authentic Jewish heroes from the period.”
In fact, and ironically, Greenstein treats as “non-persons”, the countless Zionists who fought against Nazism, either in the Allied armies or the Jewish resistance, and the Zionists who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. These heroes are never mentioned by Greenstein and his fellow anti-Zionists.
9. No one has made the ridiculous suggestion claim that Vrba was an antisemite. Historians do, however, reject his unfounded belief that anyone who tried to negotiate with the Nazis to save Jews – including not only Zionists like Kasztner but also anti-Zionists like Rabbi Weissmandel – was a Nazi collaborator.
10. Yehuda Bauer does not accuse “the Zionists of suppressing his Auschwitz Protocols to save the Zionist elite.” In fact, Bauer has written extensively about Zionist efforts to save Jews, which included calls for the bombing of Auschwitz. He also describes the Hungarian Zionist Kasztner as a “a real-life hero” who rescued thousands of Jews and tried to save many more.
11. The “Zionised version of the Holocaust” is not the justification for Israel’s existence. Jews have wanted to return to their homeland for centuries. The Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate to establish a Jewish national home in Palestine were issued decades before the Holocaust.
12. Israel’s policies are not taken “from the book of anti-Semitism including the Nazis” but from the internationally recognised right of the Jewish people to their own homeland – a right that was affirmed by the League of Nations and the United Nations, although it is denied by anti-Zionists such as Brenner and Greenstein.
13. Ha’aretz reported that Lapid compared the illegal actions of “some Hebron settlers” to the treatment of Jews in Yugoslavia just prior to World War II. Readers may wish to compare this Ha’aretz report to Greenstein’s version of it. As this example shows, Greenstein cannot be trusted to cite sources accurately.
Greenstein’s lengthy outburst includes more errors than paragraphs. That is quite an achievement. The above comments exclude his erroneous claims about the war in Iraq and I also have not commented on his ad-hominem attacks on Oliver Kamm and Harry’s Place. Greenstein was prepared in 1987 to support erroneous claims about the Holocaust in the play Perdition and twenty years on he is making erroneous statements himself. What is even more amazing than his errors is that he expected to get away with them.