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Citizen's Letter - countering more anti-Semitism of anti-Israel church "peace movements"
To Rev. Ken Working
Executive Presbyter, Presbytery of Santa Barbara
Dear Rev. Working, April 14, 2005
Sub: Dissociate from David Neunuebel
I am writing to express my outrage over the untruthful and anti-Semitic statement made by the former Moderator of the Santa Barbara Presbytery, David Neunuebel, who is an anti-Israel activist with 'Americans for a Just Peace in the Middle East', a group that, like Neunuebel, demonizes Israel and insists on placing all blame for the situation in the Middle East on Israel alone. On April 7, 2005 Neunuebel published a letter in the Presbyterian Layman that went beyond his habitual demonization blind hatred of Israel to stray into overt anti-Semitism.
I have every expectation that you will immediately issue a press release condemning Mr. Neunuebel for issuing a statement that is both anti-Semitic and demonstrably untrue. Mr. Neunuebel's letter, in addition contains a large number of outright untruths. He writes that "the Zionists were in bed with the Nazis both in Palestine and in Germany for years during WWII." He writes that the Jews "didn't...accept... the partition of Palestine" in 1948," and asserts that the Jews aim to "drive (the Arabs) into the sea."
Obviously, the Jews accepted the 1948 partition and the UN allotment of a tiny sliver of Palestine, it was the Arabs who refused to accept partition, and Arab Armies that invaded in an attempt to extinguish the Jewish State. The phrased ambition to "drive the Jews into the Sea" was President Nassar's war aim in 1956. Israel harbors no parallel ambition. If it did have such an ambition, Israel has long had the armed might to carry it out, and refrained from doing so. Moderator Neunuebel's demonization of Israel is repugnant.
As to the assertion that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis, this canard is a frequent recourse of anti-Semites and of Arab propagandists trying to draw attention away from the very real collaboration of many Arabs with the Nazi power. The Mufti of Jerusalem was a particularly active Nazi. In North Africa, enthusiastic Arabs cooperated in herding Jews into concentration camps (these Jews were saved not by the governments of the states of which they were citizens, but by General Montgomery who drove the Nazis out of North Africa before they 'final solution' got fully underway.) At present, Hamas expresses its solidarity with Nazism by giving the Nazi salute at its rallies.
What is true is that during the war, some Zionist officials in Romania agreed to keep their knowledge of the death camps quiet, and the victims quiescent, in exchange for the opportunity to move some tens of thousands of Jewish out of the country, thus saving their lives. Whether this deal, made at a time when all Jews in Romania lived under Nazi death sentences, was morally defensible or not I cannot say. I think none of us not living under a Nazi death sentence is entitled to judge. But of a certainty, this was not the collaboration with Nazis that Mr. Neunuebel calls it. Mr. Neunuebel's statement is a hateful, anti-Semitic canard. It is, moreover, a notorious canard that any well-intentioned person would easily identify as anti-Semitic propaganda.
All of this is capped by Neunuebel citation of another notorious piece of anti-Semitic propaganda, a bogus "quotation" purportedly from David Ben-Gurion that is one of several such fictional "quotations" falsely attributed to prominent Israelis that enjoy a wide circulation among anti-Semities. (for an explication of this bogus "quote," see: Colin Rubenstein's review of Peter Rodgers, HERZL'S NIGHTMARE: ONE LAND, TWO PEOPLE, Scribe, in the Australian Book Review - Dec. 2004 - Jan. 2005 -
Here is the bogus, anti-Semitic quote, as cited by Neunuebel:
'"We will expel the Arabs and take their place. In each attack, a decisive blow should be struck, resulting in the destruction of homes and the expulsion of the population." (AS IF:) David Ben Gurion, Israel's First Prime Minister; Letters to his son, 1937"
I trust that you will take immediate action to dissociate the Presbytery from men like Mr. Neunuebel who blacken its name by repeating anti-Semitic canards and propaganda.
Dr. Zvi Meiri