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    Israel must have defensible borders


    Abbas Zaki of Fattah Admits, Wiping Out Israel is the Main Goal!


    Holocaust Denial Discussed on Iranian TV: There Were No Gas Chambers; You Cannot Squeeze 2,000 Jews into 100 Square Meters

    The following excerpts are from a TV debate on Holocaust denial, which aired on Al-Alam TV on May 5, 2010. This information was gleaned from Debka

    Interviewer: It is a myth that has almost become a conviction. If it really happened, why was it restricted to one group alone? The questions are: Did the Holocaust really take place? Did the gas chambers indeed consume the Jews, but nobody else? Did gas chambers even exist? Most importantly, why do some people doubt this? Don’t historians have the right to reexamine the so-called taboos? 


    Ali Hatar (Jordanian Association against Zionism and Racism): Did it or did it not happen? That is the question. To this day, those who claim that [the Holocaust] did take place have been unable to provide any evidence whatsoever to that effect. 

    Interviewer: None whatsoever? 

    Ali Hatar: No evidence whatsoever. Of course, some political analyses and some... 

    Interviewer: That’s another matter. 

    Ali Hatar: They often say: “It happened – what proof do you want?” That’s another matter. But to bring a single piece of evidence... 

    Interviewer: They didn’t. 

    Ali Hatar: We are not saying that it didn’t happen. We are saying: Give us some evidence. They have not managed to bring a shred of evidence. I challenge them to do so. Therefore, they have prevented historical revisionists from investigating this. Their first opponents were the Americans. They fired them from their positions and kicked them out of their jobs. We will go over their names later. They prevented them from investigating. 


    Mahdi Al-Afifi (Democratic Party activist, New York): I’m sure that my colleague has access to the Internet. He should check out the thousands of booklets written about the Holocaust. 


    Ali Hatar: This is a Red Cross report from 1949. The Red Cross is an international institution. This is a Red Cross report – an international institution. It is from 1949, and it is about the five years of war. Its committees operated throughout Europe. This report refutes the claim that anyone was killed in these camps, during the so-called Holocaust. It also mentions the self-management [of the camps] by the Jews. These are not my words. I didn’t write the report. It is a report of the ICRC – the Red Cross. 


    Mahdi Al-Afifi: This makes a mockery of people’s intelligence. The Holocaust took place, and our attempts to use information that is not... 

    Interviewer: Okay, Dr. Mahdi Al-Afifi... 

    Mahdi Al-Afifi: ...does not help the Arabs or the Muslims. 


    Mahdi Al-Afifi: This just causes pointless hatred. 

    Ali Hatar: We seek the truth, and only then will we consider our position. We seek the truth because this hatred that you are talking about is what caused Gaza. It affects us. The US gives Israel 11 billion dollars, and Germany gives it 3 billion dollars annually. That is how the Holocaust affects us. They planted Israel in our midst. That is the result of the Holocaust. What hatred are you talking about? 


    He talks about thousands of books. This is the same kind of exaggeration as the figure “six million.” There are no “thousands” of books written about the Holocaust. There might be a single book claiming that the [Holocaust] took place – Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers. This book is extremely idiotic, scientifically speaking. There are also a few articles, most of which I have read, but the high quality of the doubters’ research is notable. 

    Interviewer: Why did you call that book “idiotic”? 

    Ali Hatar: Because it deals with technical issues. When we were children, we used to ask each other a riddle: “How do you put an elephant into a fridge in three moves?” The answer was: “You open the door, put in the elephant, then close the door.” That book uses the same logic – you bring 2,000 [Jews], open the door, put them inside, you close the door, and you burn them. How did they get there? How did you transport them? 

    Interviewer: There’s just one book, not thousands, as Dr. Mahdi Al-Afifi claims? 

    Ali Hatar: One book. Let me mention it again, so he can look for it – The Operation and Technique of the Gas Chambers. Where did you come up with the figure of thousands, when there’s only one book? 

    Mahdi Al-Afifi: Brother, this is just in order to show you, you can read it... [holds up copy of Elie Wiesel’s book “Night”] Hundreds of books are taught in American schools and universities. I brought one little book, just as an example. With all due respect, brother, I don’t know where you got your information. I’m sure you have Internet. Go to Google, and enter the word “Holocaust,” and see how many books there are. This author alone has written 40 books about the Holocaust. 


    Ali Hatar: The purpose of [inventing] the Holocaust was to create a guilt complex among the German and European people, so that this guilt complex would motivate the Germans and their rulers to remain... A US Congress report, which I have here, deals with the impact of this guilt complex on the German rulers, who extended aid to Israel. Today, we are the victims of this ongoing aid, which continues because of the guilt complex... I am duty bound to say to the Germans: “Oh German, don’t be stupid. Check if it really happened.” 


    Interviewer: Do gas chambers exist, Doctor? After all, you are an air-conditioning engineer. 

    Ali Hatar: There were chambers that were used as prisons. Other chambers may have been used, towards the end of the war, to burn the corpses of some people who died of typhoid fever. But according to the reports – especially the Red Cross report, and the book Did Six Million Die?, which is an American book – there were no gas chambers, in the sense referred to in the Holocaust issue. 

    What do those who support the existence of gas chambers say? They say these chambers were 500 cubic meters in size, and that they used to put 2,000 to 4,000 people inside. 500 cubic meters – if it was 5 meters high, its area would have been 100 square meters. How can you possibly put 2,000 people into 100 square meters? Just imagine, they say that [the Nazis] put 2,000 to 4,000 victims in each “cooking.” There are no chambers... If you travel to the US and visit the chambers for execution by gas – they use the same gas – you will see how well-controlled these chambers must be. 


    I work in air-conditioning of pharmaceutical plants, and we sterilize the plant from time to time, and keep the air-conditioning going for 24 hours after the sterilization, in order to disperse the lethal gas. Here they say that within 20 minutes, they would clear the chamber and it would be clean. How can you possibly remove 2,000 corpses, and clear the chamber in 20 minutes?! This cannot be. 


    This book, Hitler, the Founder of Israel, and many other books and even Western reports, say that Eichmann and the head of the Haganah coordinated the deportation of the Jews. Hitler said: My lawyer is Jewish, my doctor is Jewish, everybody around me is Jewish. He used to say to them: “When we come to power, we must establish a state for the Jews. The solution to the Jewish problem lies in finding a state for them.” 

    This is one of the most important points, which must not be neglected. Hitler banned all the Jewish parties in Germany, except for the Zionist party. He banned all the other Jewish parties – religious and others. He permitted only the party that was associated with the Zionist movement. Eichmann went to the detention camps to give the Jews self-administration. Menachem Begin headed 40,000 people in a detention camp in Poland. Eichmann allowed him to train the Jewish youth in agriculture to prepare them for when they would go to Palestine. He organized Hebrew courses for them, in order to unite them and prepare them for Palestine. There was complete coordination between Hitler’s regime and the Zionist movement, and this coordination is verified in all the books.


    Full text of Alan Dershowitz's Tel Aviv speech

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    'The burden should not only be on students to stand up to propagandizing professors who distort the truth in the name of extremist ideologies.'

    I have the double honor and pleasure of accepting an honorary doctorate from one of the world’s great universities, and also of delivering an acceptance speech on behalf of the other distinguished recipients of the honorary degrees. I know I speak for all of the degree recipients when I praise the incredible accomplishments both of Israel in general over the past 62 years and of Tel Aviv University in particular over the past 57 years.

    No country in the history of the world has ever contributed more to humankind and accomplished more for its people in so brief a period of time as Israel has done since its relatively recent rebirth in 1948. As one of the youngest nations in the world, and one of the smallest, Israel exports more life saving medical technology per capita than any nation in the world, and ranks among the top 2 or 3 in absolute terms.
    The same can be said for environmental technology, internet technology and so many other areas of scientific innovation.

    (Fortunately for the rest of the world, but unfortunately for Israel, it also exports some of its best scientists and other academics to American and European universities, because the Israeli government does not fund its universities sufficiently.)

    At the center of these contributions to the world are Israel’s great research universities. And at the center of these universities is Tel Aviv. Barely half a century old, Tel Aviv University has surpassed most of Europe’s ancient institutions of learning and is now the equal of virtually all. The publications, awards and recognition of its faculty rival the best faculties in the world. I am tempted to say that Tel Aviv has become the Harvard of the Middle East, but then I would not be speaking for the rest of my fellow degree recipients who might not regard Harvard as the singular measure of excellence. Instead I will say that Harvard aspires to become the Tel Aviv University of America. Hyperbole aside, I can think of no university in the world that has achieved so much in so short a period of time as has the great university that has honored us tonight. Yasher Koach.

    Looking at Israel’s accomplishments over 62 years and Tel Aviv University’s over 57 years, it would seem to suggest that Israel and its premier research universities have developed in tandem and with symbiosis. And to some degree they have. Israel’s research universities have contributed immeasurably to the defense of Israel by the development of technological advances that support the mission of the IDF. And as Dan Senor and Saul Singer have brilliantly demonstrated in their remarkable book Start Up Nation, the IDF has paid back its debt to Israel’s universities multifold. The IDF has helped train and prepare many of Israel’s most innovative young women and men for the university and then for their roles in research and technology. The Israeli military plays more than a critical role in defending the citizens of the Jewish state. It also plays an important social, scientific and psychological role in preparing its young citizens for the challenging task of being Israelis in a
    difficult world.

    All this is well and good. There is no reason why the state and its universities must have as high a wall of separation, as should the synagogue, the church, the mosque and the state. But the university must play an important role in the informal system of checks and balances that is so essential to the health of the democracy. We all learn in school that the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government must check and balance each other. But other non state institutions must participate in this important system of checks and balances as well. These checking institutions include the academy, the media, religious institutions and NGOs. The academy should not become too cozy with, or too reliant on the government. Great research universities must insist on independence from government and on the exercise of academic freedom.

    Academic freedom requires that professors be free to challenge governmental policies, government officials and the status quo. Israel boasts that the highest level of academic freedom in the world today—if not in theory, then certainly in practice. I emphasize practice, because few nations in the world—even those who in theory proclaim strict adherence to academic freedom—confront on a daily basis kind of academic dissent experienced in Israel. Israeli academics regularly and falsely compare their nation to the tyrannical regime that murdered 6 million Jews. Academic dissenters regularly and freely call on other academic institutions around the world to boycott the very Israeli universities which grant them academic freedom. Professors from this university are currently in Boston demanding the shutting down of an exhibit in the Boston Museum of Science featuring Israeli scientific and technological advances in medicine, clean energy and other contributors to humanity. [Matar, Giora]

    Israeli academics are free to challenge not only the legitimacy of the Jewish state but even, as one professor at this university has done, the authenticity of the Jewish people. Israeli academics are free to distort the truth, construct false analogies and teach their students theories akin to the earth being flat—and they do so with relish and with the shield of academic freedom. So long as these professors do not violate the rules of the academy, they have the precious right to be wrong, because we have learned the lesson of history that no one
    institution has a monopoly on truth and that the never ending search for truth requires, to quote the title of one of Israel’s founders autobiography, “trial and error.” The answer to falsehood is not censorship; it is truth. The answer to bad ideas is not firing the teacher; but articulating better ideas which prevail in the marketplace. The academic freedom of the faculty is central to the mission of the university.

    But academic freedom is not the province of the hard left alone. Academic freedom includes the right to agree with the government, to defend the government and to work for the government. Some of the same hard leftists who demand academic freedom for themselves and their ideological colleagues were among the leaders of those seeking to deny academic freedom to a distinguished law professor who had worked for the military advocate general and whose views they disagreed with. To its credit, Tel Aviv University rejected this attempt to limit academic freedom to those who criticized the government. As Professor Shlomo Avineri, no right-winger, put it:

    "The attempt to 'protect' those who belong to the left while employing McCarthy-style methods against those associated with the right is nothing but hypocrisy, which has no place in academia." Rules of academic freedom for professors must be neutral, applicable equally to right and left. Free speech for me but not for thee is the beginning of the road to tyranny.

    Nor does academic freedom belong to the professor alone. As Amnon Rubenstein has brilliantly argued, academic freedom belongs to the student as well as the teacher. He has pointed out that Article 5 of the Student’s Rights Law guarantees every student “the freedom to express his [or her] views and opinions as the contents of the syllabus and the values incorporated therein.” The right of the student’s academic freedom, however, goes well beyond this law. It includes the right not to be propagandized in the classroom by teachers who seek to impose their ideology on students. It includes the right of the student to express opinions contrary to those presented by the teacher without fear of being graded down and without fear of being denied recommendations or job opportunities. Indeed, any professor who punishes a student for not agreeing with his
    controversial opinion is guilty of academic harassment, which is a variant on what we all would agree is an academic violation, namely sexual harassment. No teacher is permitted to threaten a student with lower grades or poorer recommendations if the student refuses to consent to sexual contact. Nor should any professor be permitted to threaten lower grades or recommendations if a student refuses to agree with a teacher’s ideology. Students are the consumers of the university and consumers have rights that, if they don’t trump those of the producer, are at least equal to them in the context of controversial ideas.

    In their book Start Up Nation, Senor and Singer make a strong case that Israel’s innovative excellence is in part of function of its non-hierarchical military structure: A young 19 year old kid straight out of high school is encouraged to talk back to an officer if he or she thinks they have a better idea. Competition in the marketplace of ideas is encouraged in the IDF. It must also be encouraged in the academy where the right of a student to speak up and express controversial ideas is crucial. It is true that not all ideas are created equal and that those of the experienced professor may be better than those of the novice student, but the ultimate judge must be the open marketplace of ideas and not the raw power of the grader or recommender to impose his or her ideology. [tell Joel Pollackstory]

    But most universities, not only in Israel, but throughout the Western world, the loudest and shrillest voices most often come from the extremes. Today it is the hard left. Yesterday it was the hard right. The burden should not only be on students to stand up to propagandizing professors who distort the truth in the name of extremist ideologies. The burden must be shared by professors as well, especially those who disagree with the extreme views. The other side of the coin of academic freedom is academic responsibility. It is the responsibility of reasonable and moderate professors to speak out against extremist views, whether of the hard right of hard left. The silent center must not remain silent just because extremists are more opinionated and more willing to express their views. Moderates don't get a pass. They too have an obligation to speak out, not in the classroom but in appropriate forums outside of the classroom where different rules govern. Students deserve the public support of faculty members who quietly agree with them, especially when they feel vulnerable to the power of extremist faculty who believe that their unbalanced views represent the sole truth. Great universities have the right to expect their professors to contribute to the market place of ideas when irresponsible extremists try to hijack the university's hard-earned brand and misuse it to promote their own ideologies.

    So let us join together in celebrating a great university which was born in conflict, came of age in conflict and will continue in conflict. What else could be expected of an innovative house of learning in the Jewish state. Conflict, after all, is as old as Abraham's argument with God, Jacob's wrestling match with the angel, the Talmud's insistence on preserving dissenting opinions and the tradition of Jewish jokes about two Jews, three opinions. A university without conflict may be suitable for China, Iran or the former Soviet Union. But it could never find a home in Israel. Conflict, while uncomfortable, is inevitable in a vibrant democracy.

    It is particularly inevitable in a vibrant Jewish democracy. To be Jewish is to be uncomfortable, to be unable to breathe a sigh of relief and declare that we can relax. Tension and conflict seems to be our destiny. It is also the road to learning, progress and innovation.

    The alternatives to conflict are stagnation, certainty and censorship, which have no place in a university. So let conflict continue, so long as no voices are silenced, all points of view valued, and the marketplace of ideas remains open. I am confident that moral clarity will trump hypocrisy, common sense will prevail over political correctness, and the process of searching for truth will be encouraged. Israel will survive its dissenters, as will this great university [Sh'ma story]. While there will always be conflict, we all here today hope and expect that the state of Israel and the university of Tel Aviv will go from strength to strength.