Compared to Their No. 1 Enemy, Holocaust Deniers Actually Look Good
C.H. "Max" Freedman
"A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies, [for] a lie which is all a lie may be met and fought with outright, but a lie which is part a truth is a harder matter to fight."--Tennyson
Though internecine strife is rarely productive, concerned Jews must sometimes battle their fellow-Jewish "defenders" more ferociously than those they are supposedly being defended against.
Case in point: Emory University professor Deborah E. Lipstadt -- self-appointed chief crusader against Holocaust deniers -- whose shameless falsifying about Sen. Joseph Lieberman and the Jewish position on abortion is far more pernicious than any lies Holocaust deniers could ever concoct.
In a letter gleefully accepted for publication by the rabidly pro-abortion New York Times, Lipstadt made the outrageous assertion that "Senator Lieberman's support of Roe v. Wade is the only position that a traditional Jew could take."
She attempted to substantiate that monumental falsehood through the very underhanded techniques used by the Holocaust deniers she's ridden to fame attacking. Citing the very narrow exception in Jewish law of permitting abortion to save the life of the mother, Lipstadt slyly extrapolated from that to an overall permissiveness.
While I, as a committed Jew, am naturally perturbed by crackpot assertions about the Holocaust -- for example, the bizarre claim that Auschwitz gas chambers were merely "disinfection rooms" -- such nonsense doesn't concern me anywhere near as much as Lipstadt's guileful misrepresentation of Jewish law. And, by extension, her implied slander of we who faithfully follow that law.
No one with half a brain believes those absurd rationalizations about the death camps. But thanks to Lipstadt's standing -- she recently achieved worldwide recognition upon winning a celebrated libel case brought against her by British author and alleged Holocaust denier David Irving -- an untold number of highly influential people now believe her malevolent distortion of basic Jewish law.
What makes Lipstadt's propaganda especially odious is its shameless presumptuousness: she is proclaiming what the "only" traditional Jewish position can be!
In the Orthodox Jewish center of Borough Park, Brooklyn, where these words are being written, I'm surrounded by untold thousands of dedicated males who immerse themselves exclusively in Jewish law daily from dawn to midnight, from toddler-hood to old age. But even they would never make sweeping public pronouncements on vital social matters without consulting a more learned authority than themselves.
The brazen Lipstadt is a case study in demagoguery. Swelling with hubris from that Irving victory, she obviously thinks she's unstoppable - even to the extent of putting across a Big Lie about something as long-established as fundamental Jewish law!
Lipstadt has every right to lobby for the wholesale slaughter of the unborn (and, more and more, of the partly born) -- however hypocritical and unseemly such advocacy might appear on the part of one who has ridden to fame on the Holocaust-denouncing bandwagon.
She even has the right, in this tolerant democracy, to use sneaky half-truths to spread the mendaciousness that Jewish law sanctions such abomination.
But just as she is free to attack and expose the lies of Holocaust deniers, I'm free to point out to the world the glaring similarities between her targets and herself.
And just why, of the two species of prevaricators, the pursuer in this particular instance is more to be deplored than the pursued.
C.H. (Max) Freedman appears each Monday at 5:05 p.m. EST on the Barry Farber Show on the Talk Radio Network (www.talkradionetwork.com).