Ernst Zundel is more dangerous than you realize By MARVIN KURZ The Globe & Mail Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - Page A15 The recent barrage of publicity about Ernst Zundel and his ludicrous claim for refugee status calls to mind an old joke. Two elderly Jewish men were sitting on a park bench, discussing current events. The first man, Sidney, sighed and said: "I don't listen to the news any more. It's too depressing. All I hear is news about war, death and terrorism. Worst of all, Israel is blamed for everything." His friend, Harry, shakes his head. "I read the papers all the time," he says. "The Arabic newspapers from the Middle East. Every day, there are stories about how the Jews control the banks and the newspapers. We even secretly rule the world. When I read that, I don't feel so bad." This little tale illustrates the most profound irony in Ernst Zundel's return to the news. Forget the fact that his application for refugee status makes a mockery of Canadian sanctuary for the persecuted. Forget that he previously renounced his Canadian home. The real irony is far sadder. His latest brush with fame coincides with the first anniversary of the horrific murder of journalist Daniel Pearl, a Jew. Mr. Zundel did not kill Daniel Pearl. But Mr. Pearl's murder was caused by a hatred of Jews that Mr. Zundel and his ilk have eagerly spread throughout the Muslim and Arab world for decades. Mr. Zundel is notorious for denying the Holocaust, but what is not so well known is that he was originally tried in 1985 on two separate charges of spreading false news. The better-known charge concerned the publication of a Holocaust-denial booklet. The lesser-known charge was for his pamphlet titled "The West, War and Islam!" Mr. Zundel distributed this tract widely, from Morocco to Pakistan. It alleged a Jewish conspiracy "against the Islamic peoples" and called for Islamic nations to mount a campaign against "Zionist disinformation and hate propaganda." He has luridly described Jews as "a rather paranoid, shrill, whining group of shysters, common racketeers, distorters of history, falsifiers of documents who created a gangster enclave in the Middle East called Israel." Sadly, Mr. Zundel's Islamic project has succeeded far beyond his deluded dreams. In the past decade, Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have become part of mainstream thought in many Muslim and Arab countries. Mr. Zundel's relentless pamphleteering and Internet propagandizing have powerfully abetted this process. A look at the anti-Semitic Web site, Radio Islam, is instructive. It displays several quotes from Mr. Zundel, links to Mr. Zundel's "The West, War and Islam" pamphlet, and proudly shows photographs of the works of Mr. Zundel and French anti-Semite Roger Garaudy, on sale in prominent Cairo bookstores. On his own Web site, Mr. Zundel attests to the authenticity of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the most dangerous hate-propaganda tract of the past century. Its fabricated allegations of an international Jewish conspiracy inspired Hitler to write Mein Kampf and call for the extermination of the Jews. The Protocols were available in Egypt in the 1950s, but eventually fell out of favour. However, new editions have been published since the 1990s. After the events of Sept. 11, The Protocols has taken on a life of its own in the Muslim and Arab worlds. This past Ramadan, a 41-part miniseries based on The Protocols was shown on Egyptian television. It described the founding of Israel as part of an international Jewish conspiracy. Newspapers in Pakistan, where Daniel Pearl was murdered, and throughout the Middle East, recalled the conspiracy theories of The Protocols when they blamed the Israelis for the events of Sept. 11. There can be no doubt that a corrosively anti-Semitic ideology motivated the fanatics who murdered Daniel Pearl. With no interest in a ransom, they singled out their Jewish victim for kidnaping and murder. In the year that has passed since Daniel Pearl's murder, Mr. Zundel has remained unrepentant. He continues to operate his Web site in defiance of the cease-and-desist order of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The hatred that he has spent decades spreading continues to flourish. On the other hand, Daniel Pearl's family has created a foundation in his memory. Its mission is to "promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communications." Remarkably, Mr. Pearl's father has emerged as a voice of reason and reconciliation. Perhaps the final irony is that the Pearl family understands the need to move beyond hate, while Mr. Zundel remains obsessed with disseminating it. While Canada does not need the likes of Ernst Zundel, neither does the Middle East nor the Muslim world. Better that Harry has nothing good to read about, than more of Mr. Zundel's lies. Marvin Kurz is national legal counsel of the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor