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Distorting Jewish History By: Sharon Lapkin
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sixty years ago Nazism massacred six million Jews in Europe. But anti-Semitism didn’t begin with Adolf Hitler. Judeophobia has been an affliction of Western civilization since the Roman historian Tacitus maligned the Israelites in the first century of the Common Era.

In 1267 in Vienna, The Catholic Council decreed that all Jews had to wear pileum cornutum or horned hats, so the public could identify them as offspring of the devil. And half a century earlier the Council of Paris forbade Christian midwives to attend Jewish women —who they proclaimed, were bringing the brood of the Devil into the world.


The Archbishop of Canterbury closed every synagogue in his diocese in 1282, and eight years later King Edward I expelled the remaining 17, 000 Jews from England and stole their property. They fled to Europe, but most were thrown into the sea by order of the ships’ captains.


In Russia in the mid nineteenth and early twentieth century, Jews were routinely tortured and put on trial for alleged blood- drinking. Later, they were burned alive in pogroms, as the public were warned to hide their children from the vampire Jews who sought to kidnap them and drink their blood at Passover.


Throughout history Jews have been referred to as dogs. When Martin Luther designed his eight-point plan to rid the world of Jews in 1543, he demanded, “They must be driven from our country” and “we must drive them out like mad dogs.”


In the mid-nineteenth century, leading French writer, Leon Bloy wrote, “It is impossible to earn the esteem of a dog if one does not feel an instinctive disgust for the synagogue.” And in 1871, Pope Pius X1 said in reference to Jews, “of these dogs, there are too many of them at present in Rome, and we hear them howling in the streets, and they are disturbing us in all places.”


Almost five hundred years after Martin Luther published his pamphlet, On the Jews and their Lies, a three-year-old Palestinian toddler articulated ageless Jew hatred in a new context in 2005, when she explained to a large Arab television audience on the Iqra network that Jews were “dogs” and “villains”.


As the world acknowledged the first ‘International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust’ on 27 January, the Iranian mission to the UN released an official response to the ‘day,’ and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz obtained a copy.


This document called for “scientific scrutiny and rigor” to determine the “veracity of the Nazi genocide against European Jewry.” It accused Israel of “massacres” and “acts of state terrorism” and stated that “The basic principle of democracy ... should pave the way for exploring different aspects of historical events without any arbitrary restriction.” And it ended with a warning that, “genocide and immense suffering should not be manipulated for political purposes.”


A few days earlier Iran announced it was organizing a conference to examine the “scientific evidence for the Holocaust.” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently called the slaughter of six million Jews in the Holocaust a “myth” and declared Israel should be “wiped off the map.”


Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, warned the world body, in a speech reported by Haaretz, that the Iranian President’s hostility and Holocaust denial was a “real threat of future genocide.” The Iranian President, he said, represents an “evil regime” that “denies the Holocaust while preparing for the next one.”


Gillerman went on to state he “terribly regretted that the State of Israel did not exist in 1938 or 1943”, because if it had, the Holocaust “would never have happened...And I warn you,” he said,” there will forever be an Israel so this horror will never be witnessed again.”


But Hitler was not the first to massacre large numbers of Jews, nor was he the most recent. He merely pioneered the killing machine that processed the hatred of fourteen hundred years of anti-Semitism before him. As new threats emerge and demand the destruction of Israel, it is vitally important that Jewish history not be defined by isolated events such as the Holocaust and the conflict with the Palestinians.


Western teaching trends in high schools and universities now include teaching history through interpretive methods such as computer simulation. One such teaching activity was recently introduced into seven Australian schools and a university, where students were required to role-play the Palestinian/Israeli conflict to enable them to “gain an insight into all sides of the argument.” After several Jewish students complained, the NSW Department of Education investigated and revealed that the simulation was “heavily biased against Israel.” The schools have dropped the programme, but Macquarie University – which developed the activity – has refused to stop.


As history teaching morphs into indoctrination through role-play and computer simulation – which simultaneously de-emphasize historical facts and dates – it is essential that Jewish history be remembered in its entirety. And that it not be reduced to computer graphics where students are required to pretend to be an ‘Invader Jew’ in order to pass a history exam. The motto, so oft repeated “Never Again”, can only be properly understood if it retains its context.


Dr Dagobert Runes, revered peer of Albert Einstein and renowned Jewish scholar, said in 1968, that “the wearing of the yellow spot, the burning of Jewish books, and finally the burning of the people...” was learned and practiced well before Hitler. Prior to Nazism, he claimed, Jews were burned alive. At least, he said, Hitler gassed his victims before he burned them.


Nor did the massacre of Jews cease with the defeat of Nazism in the Second World War. The Kielce Pogrom in Poland, in 1946, saw Jewish Holocaust survivors being lured out of their homes by neighbors who spent five hours publicly murdering them in cold blood as the local government and church stood silently by. This event – almost two years after the Holocaust – resulted in tens of thousands of Jews fleeing Poland.


After World War 11, Jew hunting continued when Lena Küchler- Silberman set up an orphanage in Poland to care for Jewish children who had lost their parents in the Holocaust. However, Polish villagers attacked the orphanage and attempted to murder the children, so with all 100 of them, she fled and undertook a treacherous and dangerous journey to safety in Israel.


In 1952 – seven years after the Holocaust ended – on what is now known as the ‘Night of the Murdered Poets’, Joseph Stalin ordered that thirteen of the most prominent Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union be executed.


State-sponsored anti Semitism also didn’t end with the defeat of Hitler. In 2003, Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohammed drew a standing ovation at an Islamic Conference when he announced, “...But today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them...They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear wrong...”


Last year, in 2005, fifteen members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation demanded that Jewish organizations be banned from the country. And in June, 500 prominent Russians demanded that the state prosecutor examine ancient Jewish texts, claiming they were “anti-Russian.”


As the newly elected Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas joins Iran’s President in calling for the destruction of Israel, it becomes essential that the creation of Israel be understood to be the result of two thousand years of Jewish persecution, including the Holocaust. While the most horrific expression of Jew hatred was indeed the slaughter of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis. It must be remembered that this macabre event represents an intrinsic element of a larger mosaic of pain, tragedy, suffering and intolerance that has scarred the human race since the beginning of recorded time.


Dagobert Runes, in 1968, stated that Jews have been persecuted through vampire trials and Black Death accusations, through the Count Rindfleisch campaign (146 Jewish communities were exterminated in six months), the Hussite wars (almost the entire Jewish population of Prague perished) and the Chimielnicki bloodbath (a brutal Cossack who massacred Jews) the Russian pogroms, Rumanian barbarism and the Nazi Holocaust.


Since the creation of the Jewish homeland, Jews in the Diaspora are no longer destined to religious, ethnic or cultural persecution without the option of escape. But now, Israel has become the new target. And as fresh alliances are formed between Arab states and anti-Zionist Westerners with the common goal of destroying Jewish nationhood, it is important to remember the entire bloodied mosaic of immense suffering that led to the creation of Israel in the first place.


The history of the Jewish people is not properly defined by presenting the Holocaust as an isolated event and it is totally misrepresented by computer simulations that require students to role-play oppressed Palestinians and Invader Jews. To avoid distortion and misrepresentation, Jewish history must be kept intact and in context.


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