Karl Pfeifer blood libelled

The blood libel has attached to Jews for millenia. Karl Pfeifer is a tireless campaigner against antisemitism. He writes to us:

“Strange things happen to me.

I was invited to give two lectures in Münster (November 18) and in Bielefeld (November 19) by Antifa AG of the university of Bielefeld.

Two days before my lecture about racism and antisemitism in Hungary was to take place on 19. November a few persons in the AJZ (Autonomisches Jugendzentrum, autonomous youth centre) Bielefeld vetoed my giving a lecture in the AJZ alleging, that my military unit in 1947-49 has participated at a massacre in a Palestinian village, and that I myself have participated. Those present did not know where this massacre took place and about the alleged connection between the massacre and me. Those accusing me agreed that this information is not reliable. But one could hear comments: “He is a Zionist…”

And they also said that events with members of black September are also unwanted and therefore the ban is comprehensible.

They demanded that I should distance myself from this not specified massacre. This is a statement [PDF – non-German-readers can copy the text and run through Google Translate for the gist of the notes] by Johannes Westkamp, a young member of Antifa AG (antifascist group at Bielefeld University and College) on behalf of those who were present at this meeting.

Of course nobody of those extreme leftist Germans has taken the care to ask me about this story. 3-4 active members aged 30-40 voiced their veto against my lecture. That was enough.

And the cowards are not ready to answer the questions of German journalists why they excluded me.

Fortunately the young antifascists of Bielefeld University found another place and 50 students came to my lecture and they were shocked to hear about my exclusion.”

I had just completed a piece on Greens Engage titled “Zionists out of the peace movement”.

Update: this post has been slightly altered to remove JW’s signature at his request in case it was misused, and to clarify that JW drafted the statement on behalf of those present, rather than as an eyewitness himself.

Update 2: Read Karl’s piece in Ha’aretz, which ends:

“As far as I can tell, my real crime apparently is being a “Zionist,” which I can only understand as being guilty of being a Jew who defended himself and who favors the existence of a Jewish and democratic state. In Germany, I had the feeling that I was being judged by those arrogant anti-Semites not on the basis of what I have done or am doing, but for what I am.”

 

50 Responses to “Karl Pfeifer blood libelled”

  1. fred Says:

    Karl — did you ever write about your experiences during the war?

  2. “Zionists out of the peace movement”? « Greens Engage Says:

    […] I go to my inbox and receive this news from Karl Pfeifer, libelled as party to a massacre of Palestinians in the ’40s. There is no evidence, but […]

  3. zkharya Says:

    Hi Karl,

    do you have names of specific Munster academics I’ll ask my supervisor if he knows of them. He’s on research leave in Munster from January.

  4. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    fred, while Karl will answer for himself (or not as he sees fit), why the hell is the question relevant? Or are you preparing to denounce him by association? Karl has never hidden the fact that, having escaped from Hungary after the Nazi takeover and gone to Palestine, he joined Palmach and fought in the War of Independence. In fact, he wrote in great detail about this on Engage some time back and I’m sure you can find it if you try hard enough.

    You are getting very good at innuendo, fred: you attempted to suggest that a comment I posted here some time ago meant something other than it plainly did. When I called you on it, you went very quiet and failed to respond further. So, as ever, put up or shut up.

    • fred Says:

      hi brian. i’m not sure which comment you’re referring to. if you can direct me to it i’ll try to reply.

      i’m aware karl was in the palmach. I asked the question because i’m interested in first-hand accounts of the war. fair enuff?

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        fred, I’m not going to do your research for you: it was in the last month, possibly even in the last two weeks.

        And as for your question, no, it’s not fair enough: there are so many ways of asking Karl about his life story. The one above, given the article to which it is attached, is one designed to give the impression both Karl and I took from it. If this is not what you meant (and Karl clearly feels the same as I do about the question), you can and should have said so at once, instead of continuing to act the faux naive with us.

        Then you compound the offence by saying to Karl, below, (dated 22/11 @ 5.33 pm) that: “I assume you mean about your service in the Palmach, right?”
        Please don’t treat the rest of us as though we’re idiots. And remember that fine old English phrase: “when you find yourself in ahole, stop digging”: excellent advice.

        • Brian Goldfarb Says:

          Sorry, comment timed @ 11.39 pm, not the first and earlier one.

          (At least I try and correct my errors, fred)

        • fred Says:

          “fred, I’m not going to do your research for you: it was in the last month, possibly even in the last two weeks.”

          ok; can you at least tell me what it was about? Would make it a good deal easier to find. was it the algeria one?

          “you can and should have said so at once, instead of continuing to act the faux naive with us.”

          I’m not sure “naive” is the right term, & it’s not faux. It’s true that I’m fascinated with first-hand accounts of 47-49. I once spent much of one afternoon in the library of the Lehi museum, asking an elderly female fighter about her experiences during that time. As I told Karl below, I do regret I didn’t take the care needed to make him realize I recognize he’s been dealing w/an affront, & was not trying to bait, to innuendo-ize, etc. But you may never believe me no matter what I say, so I’ll take your advice & stop “digging.” Zai gezunt, Brian.

        • Brian Goldfarb Says:

          Probably.

  5. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Thank you dear Mira Vogel for publishing this

    Fred, I have written on it in German and two of my articles can be found on www. A third article will be published in December. I note that the fact, that I was accused of a not specified crime and condemned in absence to be excluded does not trouble you. After all this is customary behaviour of the antisemitic mob organised in extreme leftwing sects.
    Dear zkharya
    Now I don’t have the names. Those fellows are such cowards, that a German journalist who tried to have their reaction, could contact them only through a third persons.
    Also Johannes Westkamp was not present at that meeting. Two members of Antifa AG were present but they are cowards and have asked Johannes Westkamp to sign their statement for the Antifa AG.

    dear Brian your comment is to the point. The behaviour of those excluding me, their cowardice is shocking. Now they try to lie and say – through a third person – that the statement of Antifa AG is a lie.

    Antisemitic bigotry is no less morally deplorable when camouflaged as anti-Zionism. This was the case in Bielefeld AJZ where after hearing the comment that I am a „Zionist“ an assembly of young German antifascists agreed to exclude me.

    Usually the onus of proof is on the accuser. Accusing me of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by others without any proof seems to be part of their bigotry.
    To compare my service in Palmach with the murderous terrorism of Black September is
    making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, allegations about me, is applying double standards by requiring of me – a Jewish journalist – a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other person, that I should prove my innocence.

    To accuse me, to have participated in a “massacre” is part of a projection customary in many German circles. The best-known and by far the most widely held example of projection of guilt is the defamation of Israel as the “Nazis of today.” This is one of the most objectionable forms of Antisemitism after Auschwitz.

    I hope my standpoint is clear, even if my English is far from being perfect.

    • fred Says:

      “I note that the fact, that I was accused of a not specified crime and condemned in absence to be excluded does not trouble you. ”

      pardon, karl. indeed it sounds like a spurious accusation. it’s what made me curious to read an account of your experiences in the war.

      i see a showing of a claude lanzmann film in germany was also greeted with intellectual and actual thuggery
      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1258705154390&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    • fred Says:

      Karl, you wrote:

      “Of course nobody of those extreme leftist Germans has taken the care to ask me about this story.”

      I assume you mean about your service in the Palmach, right? I think that was what informed my instinct to ask you about it, when I first scanned this post. Although, one doubts those extreme leftists would be satisfied with any accounting you gave. Good to see the students proved to be more interested in learning about Hungarian anti-Semitism from an expert in the subject than they were in vague rumors & some ideological purity test.

  6. Stephen Marks Says:

    Karl Pfeifer can legitimately complain that he is being accused of participating in an unspecified war crime on the basis of no evidence. But why is this a ‘blood libel’? Is he being accused of killing children to drink their blood or use it to bake matzos?

    Accusations of war crimes against former soldiers, both true and false, both with evidence and without, are common. If a British veteran who served in Malaya, Kenya, the Falklands or Iraq, or a US Vietnam vet, was accused, perhaps falsely, of committing or participating in a war crime would that be a ‘blood libel”? Or only if the veteran was Jewish?

    • Mira Vogel Says:

      I linked to Anthony Julius’ piece, which explains better than I can. There used to be an mp3 of his response to David Hirsh’s working paper, but that’s disappeared from the place where it was hosted, so I can’t link to that. Julius argues that antisemitism always involves libel and he perceives three kinds – blood, economic and conspiracy. Karl was accused of murder – this is extremely serious – without evidence. From the account, the “eager credulity” in response to this baseless, unsubstantiated accusation stemmed from the fact he was thought of as a ‘Zionist’. As a ‘Zionist’, the accusation alone was sufficient to punish him with exclusion. So much of the prejudice which has historically attached to Jews has come to rest on those who are designated ‘Zionist’.

    • zkharya Says:

      If Karl is only being accused because he is an Israeli Jew who served in Tzahal in 1948 it is a libel, of a sort.

      (one suspects that, for you, unless antisemitism is of the retro, pre-early 20th century, or even mediaeval, variety, it isn’t antisemitism.)

      Nothing specific was adduced (even which Karl’s unit actually was, or which village?).

      I don’t recall former US, UK, Russian, Soviet or NATO soldiers being automatically excluded for the fact. As a matter of interest, do they automatically exclude former members of the Wehrmacht?

  7. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Stephen Marks
    Do you know a case, where a British veteran was excluded and could not lecture because anonymous persons accused him of a non specified crime on the basis of no evidence?
    Do you know a case where such a thing happened to a British veteran and he was not even heard?
    If yes please inform us. If no, you have to admit, what is evident, that such an act is an antisemitic discrimination.
    I know, some people believe that this is just an act of
    antizionist bravery. I have experienced it as an act of antisemitic bigotry.

  8. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Stephen Marks

    I wrote in 1995 a review of the annuary of the political academy of FPOE (Austrian extreme right party). Five years later Vienna state attorney started procedure against the prof. I have critizised. He was to stand jury trial and committed 3 weeks before that suicide.
    A few days later an extreme right wing Vienna weekly accused me of being responsible for his death. This time I sued the weekly and later MEP Andreas Mölzer and lost. Finally on November 15, 2007 European court of Human Rights gave its verdict in the case of Pfeifer v. Austria.
    You can read it on the homepage of the court.

    So the antizionists who vetoed my presence knew very well my case, because the prof I have criticised, was before he committed suicide working at Bielefeld college. So their act was more than despicable.

  9. modernity Says:

    The working paper is here, as a PDF http://www.yale.edu/yiisa/workingpaper/hirsh/David%20Hirsh%20YIISA%20Working%20Paper1.pdf

    I am sure that Stephen Marks can read David Hirsh’s work on the topic and be better informed.

  10. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Fred,
    If you think that those anonymous judges and state attorneys were unfair to me, you did not express it. Instead of relating to that you asked me as if you believed that I have to justify myself. At least that was my impression.

  11. fred Says:

    Karl — then I regret I didn’t state from the outset it was unfair. As you said, they did not even give you the opportunity to counter the charge. The first thought that popped into my head was, what are they on about, a massacre they can’t name, & a unit they can’t name. So the next thing I thought of, did you write somewhere about your wartime experiences. Next time I’ll try not to be so glib so as to avoid misunderstanding.

  12. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Since you are so interested to know about my service.
    Not only have I written two long articles on subject matter but a third one is to be published in December by Austrian Jewish Magazine DAVID

    So you could with a good translating soft ware (LEO) translate and read it. If you like to interview me, I could provided you pay the expenses – and flight is nowadays with all that competition cheap – come to the UK. Of course you would have to pay for Hotel and meals. But I believe one two days should be enough.

    • fred Says:

      Thanks, Karl. I look forward to your december article. Unfortunately I’m a little short right now, so I can’t take you up on your offer. Next time.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      And Tom’s point is? Does the article (which I haven’t read) mention Karl? Does it mention _any_ Palmach unit? If so, is the unit in question Karl’s? If so, how does Morrs or anyone else know – especially “Tom”?

      If the answer to any question after the first is “no”, then why is “Tom” linking to it? If the answer to these questions is no, then “Tom’s” motives are entirely suspect. Especially as he doesn’t bother to add any comment. We can note that there are many claims that Israeli units (whether “regular”, such as Palmach or what became Haganah or “irregular”, as in Irgun or Stern Gang) committed “massacres”, but few balanced discussions of the place of Palestinian units in all this. No-one (as per “Tom”) also mentions the Hebron massacre (to mention just one) or the ambush and massacre of _all_ the members of the _medical_ column relieving Mount Scopus hospital in 1948. One wonders why not. It might lead, of course, to a balanced discussion of the issues, and the anti-Zionists could never bear _that_.

      I repeat, before I’m called on it, that I haven’t read Tom’s linked article, nor have I scrolled down to see if anyone else has taken him to task. I also note that Benny Morris has written a later and much different account of these events: “1948: The First Arab-Israeli War”. Has “Tom” read this, and if not, why not? Rather selective of him, to pick _only_ that which supports his view.

      However, no surprise there, then.

      • fred Says:

        the palmach wasn’t at Tantura, that was the Alexandroni Brigade. Googling Alexandroni & Palmach I see the Alexandroni Brigade is misidentified as being a Palmach unit in Collins & Lapierre’s, “O Jerusalem.” However, an article on Tantura in the Journal of Palestine Studies states: “Tantura itself fell within the zone of operation of the Alexandroni Brigade, one of the erstwhile Haganah’s six Khish (field force) brigades (to be distinguished from its strike force, the three Palmach brigades).”

  13. Morten Hunke Says:

    Dear Karl,

    Please let me express my shock and utter dismay at the treatment you were subjected to in Bielefeld! Unfortunately, this was to be expected from the AJZ. I myself lived in that region of Germany for a long time and had numerous encounters with a good many of the leftists’ smug self-righteousness and their disregard for common courtesy and even the most fundamental principles of civilised discourse, let alone the rule of law. Rumours and hearsay are their tools and blind adherence to the course of smug self-righteousness their path and religion.

    They will take any smear any time of the day and mould it into an important argument in their watertight system of ideology. They are neither interested in facts nor in what you were about to tell them. They are not the least interested in you as a person, well perhaps as a Jew to be publicly set in front of an antizionist and antisemitic tribunal.

    They claim to be on the victims’ side, fighting the just cause of the oppressed against hegemonic powers and ideas. Sadly, nothing could be farther from the truth. They are happily and without any regret treading in the footsteps of their Nazi forebears. As soon as any Jew stops being a defenceless victim, ready to be led to the gas chamber, as soon as he/she fights back in any way they will turn on him/her. They will stop at nothing. They will side with any of the Jews’ worst enemies and not just out of mere opportunity. The Nazis found eager followers in Islamic and Arabic Middle Eastern societies then and the German antizionist leftists of today think nothing of it parading down high streets waving Hezbollah or Hamas flags. I have been there and I have seen them.

    And cowardice is a very common feature among these leftists, too. They habitually refuse to give their names under any circumstances, they will not argue, they will decree and shout or punch any opposition down wherever they deem it necessary. They are the epitome of the persecuting innocence that is who and what they are.

    Luckily, they are largely marginalised as a factor in modern German society. This, however, should not be taken as a comfort and it certainly does not mean to say that their antizionist convictions and autocratic behaviour are not shared by large parts of the populus in Germany.

    Antisemtic conspiracy theories are rife in their midst as they are among their leftist comrades in the UK. They will never accept a powerful Jewish state with pride and prowess.

    Believe me, I feel ashamed for what happened to you. Not just because I am German. But most importantly because I strongly believe in what the late Ignatz Bubis once said, incidentally at a lecture at Bielefeld University: antisemitism is not the problem of the Jews, they are the object of antisemitism. It is the problem of non Jews, it is our duty to fight that vicious ideology, may in come in the guises of fashionable antizionism or anti-Israel furore – often twistedly labelled as criticism. They will not stop, they will have to be stopped!
    With kind regards and best wishes,

    Morten

  14. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @Fred

    those anonymous antisemites in Bielefeld AJZ thought that I must have a guilty conscience and therefore will not react to my exclusion. They made a big mistake..
    But is the conscience of all those Jewish or non-Jewish antisemites, hiding behind a humanitarian antiracist mask as clean as mine? They make big fuss if a soldier at a checkpoint is pushing a Palestinian around, which he shouldn’t do. Those soldiers are observed by drones and by Machsom watch. And that is how the army of a democratic state should operate. But those same antisemites, who pretend to be “only antizionist” do not care if Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims perpetrate horendous crimes.
    Watch the space on Guardian given to the real or alleged bad manners at a checkpoint manned by Israeli army and the space given to massacres in Sudan, in Jemen, or to the occasional pogroms in Egypt against Copts and compare. And you will find out their double standard.
    So Fred, when you can permit yourself to pay my fare, I am ready to come and be confronted with your questions. Of course if you come to Vienna you will not pay me a red penny and I’ll be very happy to answer.

  15. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Dear Morten,
    Thank you for your wonderful letter. I am going to send it to all those young people in Münster and Bielefeld.
    Kind regards
    Karl

  16. fred Says:

    “And that is how the army of a democratic state should operate.”

    one might add, the army of a democratic state should not be used to facilitate the colonization of territory held under a state of belligerent occupation.

    I’ve always wanted to try Viennese pastries…

  17. zkharya Says:

    Having looked over the German, I now realise Karl wasn’t kidding when he said “unspecified” massacre or village. No village is named, no specific massacre is alleged.

    I don’t think Karl made that clear enough.

  18. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @Fred I am astonished, that you try to bring in your political agenda, when a blatant act of antisemitism was perpetrated against me. You try to draw attention away from it. Why not write about subject matter?
    Do you suggest with this, that my exclusion can be justified because of the policy of Israel?
    I suggest that you read again the wonderful letter of Morten Hunke and that you learn a bit of Humanity from it and not always come and accuse one side in this conflict.

    @zkharya thank you so much. Lately I am always in a great hurry. Today I have finished a long article on Hungary. Of course this is not a very good excuse. But take into consideration that I am writing not in my native tongue.
    Please do not hesitate to correct if I did not express myself clearly.

  19. fred Says:

    Karl, you were addressing me, you used a phrase I disagreed with so I pointed it out to you. that’s all, I wasn’t trying to create a distraction.

    “Do you suggest with this, that my exclusion can be justified because of the policy of Israel?”

    Not at all. You’re not a representative of the state anyway. Nor was it right of them to use innuendo about your service, & especially not to even give you the chance to address that. it’s also ironic that they’re anti-fascist activists & are objecting to someone from the Palmach, as it was left-wing, & not one of the right-wing streams which flirted with fascism early on.

  20. Tamara Says:

    Dear Karl
    Ignore Fred – the man is deliberately being both offensive and facetious.
    I cannot add anything to what Morten has said so well except to add my own best wishes and thanks.
    Tamara

  21. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @Fred, I have to correct you those anonymous antisemites, pretend only to be antifascist. Were they antifascist, they wouldn’t have sabotaged my lecture on Hungary, because they knew very well, how difficult it is to find a place within 2 days.
    Morton Hunke who knows them has described exactly what those Bielefeld anonymous antisemites are.
    By the way one Jewish antizionist has written a mail to the German Journalist Albrecht Kollthof, calling me a fascist.

  22. Mira Vogel Says:

    Can those who are not prepared to give Fred the benefit of the doubt (and he has explained himself sufficiently in my view) please at least refrain from labelling him with adjectives?

    Karl, I agree, those were no anti-fascists.

  23. fred Says:

    I appreciate that, Mira.

    No need to correct me, Karl, I think the way I expressed it showed these activists’ don’t have credibility as antifas.

    At least it can be said, all’s well that ends well. The students knew better than to listen to their elder activists.

    btw, I note with alarm, this article on Jobbik, threatening to exterminate “vermin” http://jta.org/news/article/2009/11/23/1009353/hungarian-political-party-promises-cleansing-of-country

  24. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Dear Mira,
    Fred is trying to push his agenda, which is legitimate but not to the point when subject matter is a despicable exclusion motivated by crude antisemitism.
    He is condemning this act and therefore I give him the benefit of doubt.
    Since he seems to be interested in my story I have offered him, to invite me for a day or two and make with me an interview or to come to Vienna and make it.
    And I have told him, where he can find my articles on subject matter.

  25. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @ Fred, you mix again things. Those anonymous antisemites at AJZ are not antifascists. The young students of Bielefeld who came to my lectures are antifascists. Two of them were present at the ominous “basis democratic meeting” where 3-4 anonymous antisemites vetoed my presence. According to the rules of this place, even one veto would have been enough to exclude me.
    When I was a child many Germans and Austrians had a saying explaining everything: “Der Jud’ ist schuld” (the Jew is guilty)
    Now I am 81 and I have to say the antisemites did not change much, they just replaced the word Jud’ with Zionist.
    They continue where their forefathers have stopped, when the Allied armies won the war and the Volksgemeinschaft where most Germans and Austrians were very happy as long as the Wehrmacht was winning was stopped. Thanks to those anonymous antisemites in Bielefeld AJZ one can say there are still some people longing for the Volksgemeinschaft.
    The mantra is the same, only this time, those anonymous antisemites pretend to belong to the political left.
    They are as Mr. Hunke wrote marginalised, all the same they can become a danger, when they incite young people to use violence. In Bielefeld they did not incite to violence, but their Kameraden did so in Hamburg when a mob did not allow the screening of Claude Lanzmann’s “Why Israel” shouting “Judenschweine”.

  26. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    With the moderator’s indulgence, I repost a comment I have just put on the thread fred and I are talking about, back on October 19, here, so that fred can keep up:

    “I need to add, for the benefit of anyone coming late to this thread, that fred has taken my initial comment on why the world reacted very differently to the Algerian army massacres of Islamists inside Algeria and to the much lower death toll in the contemporary first intifida by trying to turn it into a disquisition and discussion of how and why occupied people react as they do to occupation. This is, in my opinion, a common practice of his: taking one item and turning it into something it is not. It is exactly what he is trying to do (despite his faux naive – in my opinion – protestations to the contrary) on the thread attached to Karl Pfeifer’s article on the attacks on him when he was invited to deliver a talk to Bielfeld students – see above, November 19 or so.

    I wish he’d stick to the actual topics.”

    Over to you, fred.

  27. fred Says:

    ah ok Karl, until you explained it this time I hadn’t quite figured out that those who objected to you were not antifas. Maybe all the German acronyms & the difficulty of understanding JW’s statement using Google translate had confused me, sorry.

    re: “The mantra is the same, only this time, those anonymous antisemites pretend to belong to the political left.” why do you say they only “pretend” to be leftists. Hunke doesn’t.

  28. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Fred you continue to play your old tricks. Brian is absolutely right about you.
    It is my opinion, that not everyone who declares to be an antifascist or to belong to the political left can be reckoned as such. But probably I am mistaken and you are right, anonymous antisemites in Bielefeld are genuine leftwing people.
    You know I am still a journalist writing for print media and I write those postings in a great hurry.

    Now when you mention the blood libel about Tantura as genuine history you show who you are I do not give you anymore the benefit of doubt.

    The whole Discussion on the alleged murder of more than 100 Palestinians in Tantura can be found on the excellent Website of Dan Censor. Fact is, that Theodor Katz is a falsifier of History, that his thesis, which in the end was rejected by the University of Haifa is a piece of political prejudice and not a scientific work and I am not going into that.

    Brian your judgment is better than mine, I was giving him the benefit of doubt. Not anymore. What he wants to introduce in his devious manner is the following. Palmach did not commit this massacre but Alexandroni.
    Despite the fact, what Theodor Katz promised to do in court, he did not do it. The fees of his lawyer were paid by the PLO and when he admitted in court to be wrong, those paying for the tune, gave him hell. So Katz tried to change his story again, but the court would not accept that.
    Katz and his ilk are falsifier of history. they have a political agenda.
    The pusuit of history, as Thomas Haskell has argued, “requires of its practioners that vital minimum of ascetic selfdiscipline that enables a person to do such things as abandon wishful thinking, assimilate bad news, (and) discard pleasing interpretations that cannot pass elementary tests of evidence and logic.”
    An objective historian is obliged to be evenhanded in his approach to historical evidence: he cannot pick and choose without adequate reason.. Katz was not even-handed.
    In sum Katz treated the historical evidence in a manner which fell far short of the standard to be expected of a conscientious historian.

    Freds method is not to write about what happened to me in Bielefeld but to give your mantra about what happened in 1948 in the Holy Land. Have you no shame Fred?

  29. fred Says:

    Karl — now you’re just entirely wrong on this one. Here is what happened:

    after Tom posted Morris’ article on Tantura — not I — Brian asked:

    And Tom’s point is? Does the article (which I haven’t read) mention Karl? Does it mention _any_ Palmach unit? If so, is the unit in question Karl’s? If so, how does Morrs or anyone else know – especially “Tom”?

    I have read Morris’ article (and don’t dispute his conclusion, which is against Katz’ — no massacre). so I was answering Brian’s question; no, there was no Palmach unit there. The brigade that was there has nothing to do with the Palmach, although Collins & Lapierre misidentified the Alexandroni Brigade as the “Palmach’s Alexandroni Brigade.” This is a widely cited book & the authors have made a pretty egregious error in that misidentification. it being first in google results when searching for palmach alexandroni made me wonder if Tom might have come across it too, & posted the Morris article based on their shoddy identification of these units’ falsely reported relationship As I said, Morris’ conclusion — and as the historian who has done the most work documenting documenting 47-49, & doesn’t shy away from using the word “massacre” when he’s judged it to be warranted, I see no reason not to trust him — was that Katz’ evidence fails to the support his claim of a massacre. I dont know why Tom posted the article either, but it’s an article about a false allegation of a massacre. Maybe he actually meant to support you by posting it, as it’s an authoritative article about a false allegation having to do w/the independence war, and you’re facing a vague allegation about an unnamed massacre in the same war. who knows. but if tom were up to no good, he might more likely have posted Pappe’s article supporting Katz, for example, rather than Morris’ article disputing Katz. anyhow unless Tom chooses to elucidate on his motivation, speculation on his motives is just that.

    what I was definitely not trying to do is look for a sneaky way to undermine you; rather clear up some of Brian’s questions & point out a big error in a commonly used source on the subject. I was quite taken aback when you concluded I was sneaking in a blood libel claim. just the opposite, I was augmenting Brian’s reply to Tom by answering his question, the Palmach weren’t even there.

  30. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Again, fred turns something another way, even when attempting to clear up a misunderstanding. My comment was directed solely at “Tom”, who posted the link to Benny Morris’s article. He merely posted the link, and offered no comment of any sort. He didn’t claim that this cleared up the matter, because the article said…whatever it did say. Tom didn’t offer _anything_: neither an argument that a Palmach unit (which might or might not have been Karl’s) was or wasn’t there, that it was another unit entirely, that there had or hadn’t been a massacre, that it was in response to a provocation, or was totally out of the blue.

    Any of this would have been acceptable, but none was said. Thus my questions to Tom – which I note are unanswered. This suggests, as Tom hasn’t come back all affronted and upset, that my suspicion of his motives was and is correct.

    Why can’t fred just say what he said, without massive knot-tying and efforts to over-elaboratedly explain himself?

    And my comments other than this on other matters relating to fred still stand.

  31. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Apologies, moderator, but I’m returning fire too quickly! The comment posted at 9.38 pm and awaiting moderation (just above), was in response to fred’s posted at 12.28 pm today, 26 Nov. fred’s reply to mine posted immediately after “Tom’s” article (which was posted on Nov. 23 at 10.38 pm), fails to address any of the concerns expressed in my response to “Tom”. It purports to tell us what was in the article in Tom’s comment. So what? That wasn’t and still isn’t the issue.

    fred obfuscating, again.

  32. fred Says:

    “Why can’t fred just say what he said, without massive knot-tying and efforts to over-elaboratedly explain himself?”

    I felt I had little option, after Karl thought I was invoking the “blood libel about Tantura”, except to make it quite clear to him that wasn’t what I was up to.

    • Mira Vogel Says:

      My opinion, in case anybody is interested, is that Fred earned (at least) the benefit of the doubt some time ago when he left an entire comment apologising and clarifying at November 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm. I think it was right to call Fred to attention in the beginning, but the allegation of sneaky agenda can’t be substantiated, and so shouldn’t be pursued. Moreover, if you come back to this conversation in a few days with fresh eyes I think you’ll agree that it looks personal, like it belongs in emails and not on a blog.

      I appreciate your contributions here, but with regards to this particular conversation, could you please end it now, or move it to email, and renew your relationship in the comments of a future thread?

  33. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Dear All,
    the problem is, probably that some of us – I certainly – do not have a lot of time for the reading and writing of postings.
    Another problem is, that sometimes some posters do not relate to subject matter, but to their own agenda.
    That was the case, when Tom entered the story of Teddy Katz and Tantura. This had nothing to do with the fact, that I was excluded from AJZ Bielefeld and a lot with Tom’s hidden or open agenda. Brian was right to write about it.
    As far as I am concerned I accept fully Mira’s remark and will try to post less and only when I have the time to do so.

  34. fred Says:

    ‘Zionist’ Holocaust survivor’s lecture canceled
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1259010983725&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    “Antifa is an abbreviation for anti-fascists, and the chapter in Bielefeld said the member will draft a press statement which will condemn the cancellation of Pfeifer’s talk as anti-Semitism. “

  35. fred Says:

    Karl on this today in Ha’aretz:

    The crime of being a Zionist
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1130957.html

  36. Antisemitismus Gerüchtshof in Bielefeld - News from the Middle East - SPME Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Says:

    […] Fall wurde bislang nur im englischen Internetforum “Engage“ aufgegriffen, wo die Bielefelder Aussperrung des jüdischen Antifaschisten Pfeifer mit den […]


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