by V.S. Stinger
24 September 2004
[From Instauration, July 1998]
Moderator of a recent C-Span minyan was Frank Brookhiser, senior editor of the National Review, whose preeminent pledge is to William F. Buckley, prince of pontificators and atavistic conservatism. Buckley's style is somnolent insolence. Listening to him Bill and coo, it's hard to tell if the embalming fluid is ingressing or egressing.
The second character is pug-nosed, has a bulldog lower jaw and is decked out in a dykish (boy toy) red haircut and with a body to match. She is Deborah Lipstadt, professor of Holocaust studies at Emory University. Are those Georgians snakebit or just entranced by tarantulas? Concussed by falling peaches on Peachtree Street or just guilt-tripping out on peach brandy? Feminist studies? Black studies? Now Holocaust studies?
Third, David Gelernter, a Jewish professor of computer sciences at Yale and victim of the Unabomber. Untypically, he was quiet and happy his book was published, which he interpreted as proof of the good taste and freedom of the press.
Fourth, David Horowitz hawking his book that deals with his doublecrossing conversion from radical liberalism (i.e., communism) to radical conservatism. Horowitz, whose parents were lifelong Commies, began his political life as a 60s radical, along with Tom Hayden and other Berkeleyite bashers of the white bourgeoisie. Surprise, surprise! Horowitz ripened into a radical rightist who targeted his Marxist-trained howitzers on the Black Panthers. A Jew who is -- goatee and all -- a live ringer for Leon Trotsky, Horowitz now heaps the same scruffy dedication on conservatism that he once lavished on liberalism.
Finally, Andrea Dworkin, a rabid feminist but independently repulsive in her own right. If you have ever seen her in action, you know what I mean. The motives for her dedication to radical feminist become kristallnacht clear as you harken to her horrific spiel. Her dress of choice is a tent-sized pair of bib overalls. Her hair could serve as a fright wig. She claims to ahve been "assaulted" by two doctors, who allegedly perpetrated the penetration after she had been arrested in a 1965 "civil rights" protest and thrown in a house of detention. The doctors must have been veterinarians trained in a Manhattan hog-wallow. Their olfactories must have been removed during the rhinoplasty.
Appropriately enough, this mostly kosher choir, this minyan of minions, was convened to chew the fat about censorship and the media. Can you imagine? These Jews have all been published. They've all been interviewed ad nauseum. Yet they all kvetched about censorship.
It reminded me of a gathering of Jews assembled by sellout Charlie Rose to discuss Palestine, to wit: our stealth Jewish secretary of state, madcap Madeleine Albright; Australian Jew Martin Indyk (formerly "our" ambassador to Israel, formerly associate director of AIPAC and currently under secretary for the Middle East); Chosenite Dennis Ross (our "negotiator" in the Middle East); orthodoxly bearded Frank Gaffney, guru Israeli gaff-meister; and yahoo Bibi Netanyahu. Voila, snake-eyed Charlie Rose's idea of an objective panel convened to "discuss" the Middle East.
Lipstadt was pleasantly astonished at how well her denial of Holocaust deniers had sold and was selling. But if Lipstadt was surprised, wasn't she the only one? Isn't the real point that a low-brow professor could find an American publisher, while David Irving, a distinguished historian and acknowledged authority on Nazi Germany, could not?
I despiste the current academic crazies for deconstruction and historicism. Briefly, deconstructionists want to separate language from reality, from "things." Thus language becomes strictly "self-referential" and relates only to itself, not to a reality "out there." Thus language becomes a snake swallowing its own tail and truth becomes a chimera, a kind of cabala accessible only to initiates -- and even they can never really know anything. (A French jew, Jacques Derrida, is the leading light of this dark attack on the sanity of language.)
Lipstadt has damned deconstructionism with faint praise. She asserts that enthusiasm for it waned when it was discovered that Paul de Man -- chief guru of the movement at Yale -- had been a Belgian Nazi during WWII. Have you noticed how "objective" Jews and liberals can be when it comes to truth in philosophy? Derrida's most famous American exponent was a Nazi in his salad days! Suddenly language has meaning and responsibility.
Historicism claims that history is a fiction, that the powers that be decide what's true. Feminists just love the freaky Frenchman, Michael Foucault, who before he died of AIDS in 1984, did more than anyone to spread the disease of historicism. Once again, there is no "objective" version of history, so women were never given their due because the power structure was always masculine. (Forget Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette, Josephine and Madame Pompadour, Catherine the Great, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher and, greatest of them all, that all-American golddigger Golda Meir, who deployed tactical nuclear weapons against Egypt in 1973). Actually Foucault may have a point. Wasn't it Winston Churchill who said, "History will be kind to the Allies; I plan to write it"?
Lipstadt's reaction to Jewish intellectual Hannah Arendt is negative. Why? Because Arendt had an affair with Martin Heidegger, arguably the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. Philosophy is fine; any fool can philosophize, even Derrida. Heidegger was a momentary Nazi and Arendt's "relationship" with the great one apparently extended well beyond her student years at the German university where Heidegger reigned supreme. Perversely, I'm puzzled by Heidegger's interest in her. Certainly she was bright. Certainly an older man might have been flattered by the attentions of a younger woman. But what good is philosophy if it doesn't teach wisdom? Could comedian W.C. Fields have been wiser than Heidegger? Didn't Fields quip that a woman is just a woman but a cigar is a smoke? According to Lipstadt, at the same time Arendt was accusing Jews of collaborating with Nazis, she was also perpetrating a "revisionist" version of Heidegger's life.
How can language tell the truth about Heidegger and Arendt, but not tell us what is real? How can Holocaust survivors recall gas chambers from 50 years ago, but Netanyahoo not remember what Jews signed at Oslo two years ago? How can Jews remember pogroms in Poland and Russia nearly 200 years ago? Why can't they remember that they lost Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago, while still pretending it's theirs? The Brits had it, the Turks had it, the Arabs had it, the Romans had it, the Greeks had it, the Egyptians had it, the Persians had it, the Syrians had it, the Assyrians had it, the Hittites had it, and the Canaanites had it. To top it all off, Jerusalem itself was founded by Jebusites!
What a funny thing is language! What a funny thing is memory! Maybe history is just a perception which power can transmogrify into truth. What flaw in Golda Meir's memory could make her declare that Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land?
What really irks Jews about Arendt is that she cited Adolf Eichmann as a prime example of the "banality" of evil. How could anybody believe that this mediocre little man, this marvel of mediocrity, had anything to do with something like Auschwitz? So what if he looked "banal"? Can't a bookkeeper be evil? Who cooked the books on how many were "gassed" in those camps? What banal-looking monster invented the lie about lampshades of human skin? Was anybody more grandmotherly than Golda, who hated those nasty Arabs because they forced innocent Jews to kill them? How come that killers like near-midget Shamir, blubbergut Sharon and Menaphlegm Begin are never banal?
If history is what the power structure says, who wrote the history of the Holocaust if not Jews like Deborah Lipstadt herself? If the Nazis had won, and they had taken charge of the history of WWII, would the Holocaust have disappeared? What happens to objectivity, if one rejects Arendt, de Man and Heidegger because of personal revulsion, not for their ideas? Certainly Ben-Gurion, Meir, Shamir, Peres, Begin and Sharon are (or were) all beautiful people, so who could disbelieve them? If Lipstadt can dismiss Heidegger because he nattered about Nazis, how come unrepentant Zionists like the two Yitsucks, Shamir and Rabin, and pirate-eyepatched Moshe Dayan, have never been called to bell, book and candle? Why are we dragging small-fry Serbians into the dock for genocidal murder, while Chosenites like Sharon and Netanyahoo still prowl around free?
Professor of Holocaust studies and defender of academic freedom and the first amendment, Deborah Lipstadt declared she would never debate a Holocaust denier. In a TV discussion of media censorship, she declared that deniers had a right to speak their swill, but their books should never be published or advertised. Moreover deniers should be banned from TV panels composed of published Jews discussing censorship. But isn't that, effectively, censorship?
Is there a conflict of interest here? If a professor of Holocaust studies refuses to debate the deniers, isn't she just preaching to the choir? What's she afraid of? If the deniers are lying, why not expose them for the anti-Semitic, Neanderthal numskulls they are by giving their ideas maximum exposure possible?
Who decides what is erroneous? The Sanhedrin which Pilated Jesus to death? Pilate who executed an innocent man for the sake of peace in the simmering Semitic polity? Was Socrates right in committing suicide because he was condemned to death legally? Why did we hang the legal government of Germany at Nuremberg? The Israelis refuse, for example, to surrender the territory they agreed to relinquish at Oslo, because they refuse to commit "suicide."
Who is more intolerant of diversity than an Orthodox Jew? Can a Christian proselytize in Israel? Does error have the right to exist in America's Asian beachhead? Since the messiah has not yet arrived, does Israel have the right to exist?
Horowitz-Trotsky was horrified because the liberal media were not as horrified as he was by the horrors of the Black Panthers he exposed. But was Horowitz-Trotsky himself so horrified, so hot to trot against the liberal media, when he was a media darling in the 60s?
Andrea Dworkin resented being forced to flee to England to escape the American media, the Sceptred Isle apparently being more congenial to her firebrand form of feminism. The English abhor rape. Otherwise they might have extended their hospitality to the two medical freaks who allegedly extended their testicular hospitality to Andrea Dworkin. Anyway our paperweight reporters couldn't read her any more than they could hold her down. So she hied her eiderdown hide off to England to Park her Hyde.
Brookhiser endorsed Führeress Lipstadt's refusal to engage deniers in verbal combat. He said he had once rfused an offer to debate a Communist. Since Reds always lie, he opined, why bother to debate? Why bother to expose their lies to public view? But what happened to Pope John XXIII's ecumenism? And didn't the present Pope drop in on Communist Poland and Communist Cuba? Does Brookhiser claim to be more Catholic than the Pope?
Is that why Brookhiser and his boss, languid William Buckley, have never debated Zionism? Because Zionists always lie? Who was the guy who announced that all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing?
If we only debate those who never lie, aren't we condemned to an endless monologue? Has Brookhiser never lied? If I only debated those who never lied, I concede from the outset that my putative opponent is simon pure. If he's so honest, what's there to debate? If I refuse to debate liars, I'll be forever talking to myself.
George Washington never told a lie. Is that why he never jousted verbally with King George? Since the Continental Congress wrangled for years to wring out a constitution, none of its members ever told a lie. Lenin, Stalin and the rest of that ignoble crowd must have been purity itself since they debated endlessly. Before they shot the losers.
I am relieved to hear that debaters Brookhiser and Lipstadt refuse to debate anyone who has ever told a lie. What a relief it must be for Lipstadt to know that Hitler's whole life was one endless, interminable debate. And before Hitler came to power, Germany must have been packed with the purest politicians of all time, for Hitler debated them all. Stalin and Hitler did sign a temporary pact but never debated, except before the shattered walls of Stalingrad. If Lipstadt and Brookhiser refuse to debate liars, what's the point of even discussing the perils of censorship? For we all know that the media never lie, so why would it ever censor anybody or need to be censored itself? (Are you listening, Socrates?)
Chosenite Gelernter was smarter than the others on the panel. He barely said a word. So he didn't have to address the question of why this Jewish-dominated clique was picked to comment on censorship.
I, however, am eager to debate, because that would prove that I am neither a Holocaust denier nor a Communist. It would also prove that I never lie, that I am pure, that I am worthy of jousting with pristine Jews. If one only debated those who never lied, how could one ever confront Zionism?