December 8, 2005

I Can Hear the Cuckoo Singing In the Cuckooberry Tree

Hatched by Dafydd

Move over, Oogo Chavez; you've got competition for this year's Moonbat awards!

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday expressed doubt the Holocaust took place and suggested the Jewish state of Israel be moved to Europe.

His comments, reported by Iran's official IRNA news agency from a news conference he gave in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, follow his call in October for Israel to be "wiped off the map," which sparked widespread international outrage.

I haven't wafted around the blogosphere in the last few hours, so I can only assume this is getting plenty of photonic ridicule on other blogs. But resistance is futile, so here's my stab at it.

Hard-core Holocaust denial -- which not even the ruling mullahs seem willing to endorse -- is an absolute favorite among conspiracy theorists. I suppose that's because the Nazis were practically science fiction themselves, so it's easy to tack on one more layer of conspiracy. Call Holocaust denial the "lazy man's conspiracy," because it takes no wit at all (unlike, say, conspiracies such as the Bilderbergers, the Illuminati, the Bigfoot concealers, or those who say the CIA introduced crack cocaine into America and blew up the New Orleans levees, all to "destroy the black race" -- each of which requires more cleverness at setting up means, opportunity, and motive for the conspiracy). From what I've seen so far, Ahmadinejad is not exactly the shiniest Batarang in Khatami's Bat-Belt... so it's a perfect fit.

(Incidentally, I've always wanted to open a do-it-yourself fast-food franchise and call it Build-a-Burger -- just to freak out the loonies.)

Recall that Ahmadinejad's job before he got his current gig as Iranian president was to fly around the world assassinating apostates -- which to the mullahs means any Iranian who doesn't agree with them on any issue: religious, political, or sartorial. In essence, the president of Iran is now Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano. So this is really recycled homicidal mania.

What's amusing is the other half of Ahmadinejad's statement. Here is the reporting:

Ahmadinejad was quoted by IRNA as saying: "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail."

"Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?" he said.

"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it."

First, it's quite true that some European countries, such as Germany (and West Germany before that, and probably East Germany then too, though I wouldn't swear to it), do in fact criminalize Holocaust denial. Worse, they confuse Holocaust revisionism with Holocaust denial... so that if someone argues that Hitler did kill millions of Jews, but that he used a different method of execution, or that he killed five million (or seven million) instead of six million, or that the non-Jews killed by Hitler were more numerous than the Jews killed by Hitler -- or indeed, virtually any deviation from Holocaust orthodoxy as enunciated by the late Elie Wiesel -- there's always the possibility that his intellectual opponents will make their argument by throwing him in la calabooza.

To me (as a Jew who believes that the orthodox Holocaust narrative is basically correct), this is a profoundly unfree and anti-democratic policy, even for the deniers, let alone the mere revisionists. So five points to Slytherin for Ahmadinejad tweaking the noses of the European moralists. (We're still debating whether to expel Ahmadinejad from the fine House of Slytherin or just feed him to the snake.)

But this is the part I meant: Ahmadinejad's suggestion that the state of Israel be moved to some other "province" in Europe: "you offer part of Europe [for Nuevo Israel] and we will support it," says he.

What's fascinating about this is that this isn't the first time such an offer has been made. The Holocaust deniers at the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) have of course been running with this story for years, claiming this paints the Nazis as more benign. But many other sources who accept the orthodox Holocaust narrative agree that indeed there was such a plan. It originated with the Nazis themselves, who at first were only planning on a mass "ethinic cleansing" of Jews from Europe:

In 1940, the SS had the so-called "Madagascar Plan" to deport the entire Jewish population of Europe to a "reservation" on Madagascar. The "Madagascar Plan" was cancelled because Germany could not defeat Britain and until the British blockade was broken, the "Madagascar Plan" could not be put into effect. Finally, Functionalist historians have made much of a memorandum written by Himmler in May, 1940 explicitly rejecting extermination of the entire Jewish people as "un-German" and going on to recommend to Hitler the "Madagascar Plan" as the preferred "territorial solution" to the "Jewish Question". Not until July 1941 did the term "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" come to mean extermination.

Note that Wikipedia is, of course, a problematic source, being an open-source cyberpaedia with no editorial review. But in this case, the article itself is quite orthodox, and the article on the Madagascar Plan itself seems fairly well sourced. They link to the Jewish Virtual Library, which posts a document written by Franz Rademacher, head of the Judenreferat III der Abteilung Deutschland (Jewish Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), outlining the plan.

You must bear in mind that the Madagasgar plan -- along with the deportations of Jews to European countries during the 1930s -- were not crafted with the welfare of the Jews in mind. Rather, this was the first cut at making the Third Reich "Judenrein," or Jew-free. There is also some evidence that the Reich hoped the forced emigration of hundreds of thousands of poor Jews to neighboring countries would turn the populations of those countries against the Jews, thus spreading antisemitism along with destitute (and helpless) Jewish victims. (If the Jewish family being pushed out weren't already poor, the crippling "emigration tax" made sure they were by the time they actually left.)

The interesting question is whether the Zionists of 1939-40 would actually have been willing to go along with the Madagascar Plan, emigrating from European countries where they were still (for the moment) safe to create a Jewish state in that island colony off the east coast of Africa. On that question, I'm torn but ultimately land on the negative side.

First, Israel did not yet exist, and it was unclear whether it ever would. The Holy Land was under the control of the British Empire, which had signed the Balfour Declaration thirty-three years earlier (promising a Jewish homeland in British Mandatory Palestine), but had taken no steps to implement it, and indeed appeared on the verge of repudiating it. Recall that in the late 1940s, Zionists within what is now Israel and what is now the Palestinian Authority -- including Ariel Sharon, Manachem Begin, Moshe Dayan, and other founding statesmen of Israel -- joined paramilitary groups such as Haganah and especially Irgun and actually fought against the British to force them to implement the plan.

So it's not at all implausible that Zionists of a decade earlier would conclude that the British had no intention of making good on their promise anyway. Would a firm offer from the Nazis tempt them?

Second, it was clear to anybody with a brain that the Nazis were never going to be content to stay in Germany; sooner or later (it turned out to be sooner), they would begin annexing, conquering, or at least helping native Nazi movements in other countries throughout the continent. Therefore, a Jew living in Poland or Russia or France or even Great Britain might well have felt very insecure about his increasingly untenable position (rightly so). The idea of a Jewish state anywhere, even on an island in the Indian Ocean, must have appealed.

However, the Jews had a tremendous attachment to Israel, their Biblical homeland, going back millennia, dating to the destruction of the Second Temple and the expulsion of the Jews by the Romans in A.D. 70. The Zionist movement itself -- the movement to build a Jewish state in Israel -- dates to the 19th century. When one of the great early leaders of Zionism, Theodore Herzl, proposed Uganda as a Jewish homeland -- a temporary one, just for Russian Jews in immediate danger from pogroms -- it met with such a firestorm of objection that the movement quickly rejected the idea (though Herzl himself died before the final vote):

At the Sixth Zionist Congress (1903), Herzl proposed the British Uganda Program as a temporary refuge for Jews in Russia in immediate danger. While Herzl made it clear that this program would not affect the ultimate aim of Zionism, a Jewish entity in the Land of Israel, the proposal aroused a storm at the Congress and nearly led to a split in the Zionist movement. The Uganda Program was finally rejected by the Zionist movement at the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905.

Would the Zionists of 1939-40, frustrated by decades of non-movement towards a Jewish state, have been willing to negotiate with the Nazis? Would they have been willing to urge emigration of all Jews from Europe to Madagascar in exchange for promises to leave the Jews alone after that? My guess would be no, because I think they would realize that the Jews would be no safer from Hitler in Madagascar, the Philippines, or even America (although by then we had immigration quotas sharply restricting Jewish immigration into the United States) -- unless Hitler and the Nazis were defeated. Thus, I think they would have recognized that any such offer from Nazi Germany could only be a trap to weaken the economic base of the allies and make conquest easier.

I seem to have wandered far off into the weeds. In any event, not only is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's conspiracy theory about the Holocause recycled crackpottery, but so even is his suggestion that Israel be picked up and dumped down somewhere else -- though of course, the direction of dumping is opposite to that of the first suggested version by the Nazis.

Thus, President Ahmadinejad of the Islamic "Republic" of Iran runs strong in the race to be first to be second in the Israel Relocation division of the Moonbat awards.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 8, 2005, at the time of 6:26 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

I'm still having trouble sending you trackbacks. I linked from "Read these"

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 9, 2005 12:40 AM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

I'm still having trouble sending you trackbacks. I linked from "Read these"

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 9, 2005 12:41 AM

The following hissed in response by: GinaCobb

Related post:

Move Israel to Europe? Let's Relocate Other Countries Too!

Iran's president said Thursday that if Germany and Austria feel responsible for massacring Jews during World War II, they should move the state of Israel to Germany or Austria.

I had no idea that entire countries full of people could just be picked up and “moved” from place to place. But now that the idea is on the table, here are some ideas for other countries to relocate!

Read more . . .

The above hissed in response by: GinaCobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 9, 2005 8:32 AM

The following hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi

Dafydd, i think the quote is, "...the kookaburra singing in the kookaburra tree."
Sorry to be nitpickin' but i don't want Bebop to hafta axe me what a cukooberry tree is. ;)

The above hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 9, 2005 1:34 PM

The following hissed in response by: 2Hotel9

I read this at IRNA and almost spewed coffee all over my laptop! I am sure Khatami has had a"come to jesus" with young Mahmoud and explained that as the"elected" president of Iran, people actually listen to and report the stupid ass crap that falls out his mouth. As a well-trained, exstensively traveled hatchet you would think he would understand the subtle nuances that should be employed in agita-prop. Go figure?

The above hissed in response by: 2Hotel9 [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 9, 2005 4:16 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Matoko Kusanagi:

Dafydd, i think the quote is, "...the kookaburra singing in the kookaburra tree." Sorry to be nitpickin' but i don't want Bebop to hafta axe me what a cukooberry tree is. ;)

Nope. Isn't.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 9, 2005 5:32 PM

The following hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi

Dafydd, i prostrate myself in humble apology.
i had forgotten Don Quioxte. ;)
i think the aussie song was prob'ly made on that one.

The above hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 10, 2005 7:31 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Matoko Kusanagi:



The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 10, 2005 4:31 PM

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