Protesters rallied in Jerusalem against a rabbis' ban on renting apartments to Arabs.
About 150 demonstrators on Wednesday night took up positions across from Jerusalem's Great Synagogue to protest the rabbinic ruling, issued Tuesday by dozens of Israel's municipal chief rabbis.
Municipal chief rabbis' salaries are paid for by the state.
In how many democracies are the salaries of clerics paid for by the state?
In how many democracies have the clerics supported a ban on housing based on ethnicity?
AND YET some ignoramuses still repeat the falsehood that Israel is "the only democracy in the Middle East."
Dec 11, 2010
What sort of TRUTH is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth?
Christmas story by Petras - see attached - please confirm receipt of story - jpetras
Attachment(s) from James Petras
1 of 1 File(s)
Think Again: Are Holocaust denial
statutes worth it?
By JONATHAN ROSENBLUM
They are, in fact, likely to be counterproductive. Worse, they could
add credibility to the claims of the deniers.
Growing up in the US, I never gave much thought to statutes criminalizing Holocaust
denial. Any such statute would almost surely be struck down under the First Amendment
of the Constitution. Such statutes, however, are common in Europe. Most Jews probably
have an instinctive sympathy for outlawing Holocaust denial and experience satisfaction
when some European Holocaust denier is sentenced to jail or fined. And indeed there
are at least two powerful arguments in favor of such statutes. The first has to do with the
special pain felt by the victims of the Holocaust caused by the denial of the hell they
went through and inhuman cruelty inflicted upon them. Few of them could have imagined
in their worst nightmares that within 50 years of their liberation, there would be a whole
cottage industry devoted to denial of their suffering.
The more compelling argument lies in the role of Holocaust denial in the arsenal of the
most virulent of contemporary anti-Semites. Until reading Prof. Robert Wistrich's The
Lethal Obsession, I never fully appreciated how important Holocaust denial is to present
day Hitler wannabes. Wistrich details how Holocaust deniers fan the flames of potentially
lethal anti-Semitism with their claims. For them, the "Holocaust myth" is but the latest
example of the Jews' talent for manipulation – a gigantic conspiracy that has
brainwashed almost the entire Western world and has been used to extract huge
reparations from the Germans and create sympathy for Jews and the State of Israel.
At the end of the day, however, anti-Holocaust denial statutes are likely to be
counterproductive. The very existence of such statutes will always be pointed to by anti-
Semites as further proof of the reach of the Jewish tentacles that hold European
legislators in their clutches. Worse, they could very well add credibility to the claims of
the deniers. The latter will point to the illegalization of Holocaust denial as proof of the
power of the their arguments. Precisely because they cannot refuted, the deniers will
claim, must their ideas be ruled outside the pale of legitimate discussion.
THE MOST powerful argument, however, has nothing to do with Jews. Such statutes
create a dangerous precedent for other efforts to outlaw certain discussion as beyond
In his classic On Liberty, John Stuart Mill observes, "All silencing of discussion is an
assumption of infallibility."
Most of us could come up with a few candidates of propositions that we consider beyond
legitimate debate. Some global warming enthusiasts, for instance, refer to opponents as
"deniers" to link them to Holocaust deniers in their depravity.
Classical liberals are largely protected from the "assumption of infallibility" by their
emphasis on what Isaiah Berlin termed "negative liberty," the absence of barriers or
constraints on individuals, particularly on their freedom of thought and expression. But
those who conceive liberty positively, in terms of the liberation or self-realization of the
individual, or more typically some collectivity, are subject to the totalitarian temptation,
for that self-realization, particularly of the collective, requires the coercive power of the
The totalitarian temptation, and its less extreme expressions, is further heightened
among those who have grown up in an environment in which one political viewpoint is so
dominant that it is easy to suspect anyone holding opposing views of being mentally
incompetent or morally corrupt. That would describe students at many elite universities
in the West. Not surprisingly, the speech and conduct codes at some American
universities are perhaps the most glaring examples of limitations on freedom of speech
in America. Opposition to homosexual behavior, for instance, as immoral, or even
quoting the biblical prohibition, could run afoul of some such codes.
WITH RESPECT to no subject is freedom of speech so imperiled as to Islam and its
adherents. Under a Council of Europe framework decision that went into effect on
November 28, all European Union member states are required to combat "certain forms
and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law."
Inevitably, those laws will be used to prosecute critics of Islam and those who warn of
the dangers from Europe's growing Muslim population.
Indeed they already have. Elisabeth Sabaditsch- Wolff has been charged with "inciting
hatred against a religious group" and "defamation of religion" for a 2009 presentation on
the "Islamization of Europe."
And an Amsterdam Appeals Court overruled the Dutch Prosecutorial Services decision
not to charge Geert Wilders, the head of the Freedom Party, for comparing the Koran
toMein Kampf. An Austrian court even fined a retiree whose Muslim neighbors
complained that his yodeling sounded like the muezzin's call to prayer and was thus
In both the Sabaditsch-Wolff and Wilders cases, the presentations for which they were
charged consisted primarily of quotations from the Koran and the hadith literature. Quite
likely, those presentations were tendentious and one-sided. Certainly some of
Sabaditsch-Wolff's examples of the imposition of Shari'a (Muslim religious law) – i.e.,
Muslim parents preventing their daughters from mixed swimming – will strike most
Americans and all religious Jews as legitimate exercises of freedom of religion. But
where the gravamen of a criminal complaint consists of quotes from Muslim sources,
then legitimate debate about an Islamic threat to Europe is being cut-off.
By attempting to shut down discussion of Islam, under the rubric of combating
Islamophobia, European policymakers are helping to bring about their worst nightmares.
Those nightmares involve bloody clashes between Muslims and native Europeans who
feel that their culture is under assault from fast-growing, poorly assimilated, immigrant
populations. That is indeed possible. But placing Islam or the behavior of Muslims so far
beyond the pale of discussion that even truth is no defense only exacerbates the danger.
Nothing injects more bitterness into the political system than the widespread feeling that
the playing field is tilted. If native Europeans see that prosecutions are never brought
against local imams for incitement against the infidels or that Christianity, but not Islam,
may be denigrated with impunity, their fury will only grow.
In addition, limits on discussion of issues of public concern because of the
uncomfortable implications of certain facts make it less likely that appropriate solutions
will be found in time.
Airport security in the US is a good example. The refusal to acknowledge that likely
terrorists are drawn from a small and largely discernible slice of the population imposes
an immense burden on air travelers and delivers a victory to terrorists.
The rising Muslim population in Europe, especially as that population grows more
radicalized, is a threat to European civilization, and pretending otherwise will not make
the threat go away. But such pretending by policy-makers will prevent the adoption of
immigration and social welfare policies that can reverse, in part, those trends.
Legal prohibitions on Holocaust denial serve as an attractive example for government
meddling in the free marketplace of ideas. But given the costs of any precedent for
allowing European elites to determine what is proper and improper speech, and what
topics may be discussed, giving up Holocaust denial statutes is a small sacrifice.
The writer is the director of Jewish Media Resources. He has written a regular column
inThe Jerusalem Post Magazine since 1997, and is the author of eight biographies of
modern Jewish leaders.
More about: Isaiah Berlin, Geert Wilders, Robert S. Wistrich, Council of Europe
"Adolf Hitler, unknown to all but a few, was still in the early stages of his struggle, yet it may be said that Germany was already seeking him."
"Hitler was acute enough to realize that the Marxist did not stand for freedom but for a despotic uniformity, enforced by terror and the annihilation of all who opposed them." [Hitler, in Mr. Bryant's opinion, obviously stands for freedom and individualism.]
"Hitler's real quarrel with the capitalist and Marxist system alike was that they stopped things from growing. They were concerned not with creation, but the one with making quick profits and the other with establishing an unnatural and sterile uniformity." [Note the mystic nationalist's hatred for the merchant, the trader.]
"This damning indictment of modern society and 'its original sin of racial corruption' constitutes the central theme of Hitler's political philosophy. It has never been properly answered."
"The dreamer of Munich [Hitler] outlined a now organization of society to undo a century's neglect."
"They destroyed because they were shocked ..." [Referring to the righteous moral indignation of Hitler's storm troopers.]
"To the dispossessed millions it [Naziism] offered something even more attractive status and responsibility."
And Bryant approvingly quotes a German as writing:
"A conquered and oppressed people has no place for an internationally-minded and internationally-organized commerce ..."
Now let us select a few choice anti-Semitic morsels from Mr. Bryant's heavily-laden tray.
"Few of the Jews who set the spiritual and cultural fashions for Germany in the 'twenties had any comprehension of a countryman's point of view. They were not themselves countrymen or producers, but by … middle men: the descendants of men who had been forced to live for centuries as exploiters [though never landowners like Prussian Junkers or British Tories, M.J.B.] rather than as creators. …Their inherited instinct was to skim the cream rather than to waste vain time and effort in making enduring things. …They were exponents of the get-rich-quick philosophy … lovers of the flamboyant and the arts of advertisement…"
"... Who [the Jews) in the nineteen-twenties seemed, with all the invincible vitality and opportunism of their race, to be making of a broken nation their washpot."
"The lack of common purpose, the treachery of the Jews [Emphasis mine M.J.B.] and the stranger within her too-open gates, above all, the lack of consistent purpose in her leadership, had consigned Germany to the lowest hell of even her unhappy history."
"And the dispossessed the lonely and dispirited men and women who had seen their homes, their savings and their livelihood sacrificed to the Jewish speculator when the currency collapsed turned also to the new creed."
"To the peasant he [Hitler] promised the freedom of his land, now mortgaged to the Jewish usurer ..."
"If one had the money, one could stay at luxurious hotels and sit among well-dressed people -- rich Jews from Galicia or native profiteers eating and drinking fabulously expensive food and wine." [This refers to the blockade-caused famine right after the War.]
"Authorship in Germany almost seemed to have become a kind of Hebrew monopoly."
"The perversion [homosexuality M.J.B.) which has always been a major German failing was now exploited and stimulated by Jewish caterers who, while seldom sharing such tastes, did not hesitate to turn them to their profit."