The rogues' gallery by aemathisphd (02/07/12) ⇌ (@jayn0t)
What do you want to do, Jay, go over the rogues' gallery of people who have espoused Holocaust denial?
One of the things that Paul Eisen never bothers to mention in lionizing Ernst Zundel and Ingrid Rimland is that they're hard-core National Socialists. A core tenet of National Socialism is anti-Semitism. The area of crossover between Nazis and neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers is simply enormous, and when you take out those deniers who aren't actually qualified historians, then the number approaches 100%. (His name is Mark Weber; look him up.)
I'm saying these things not because I have a desire to shut anyone up or to cease "debate," though I find the idea of debating the Holocaust a little silly, since it's readily evident that it happened the way the historiography notes. I'm saying that there is a necessary relationship between Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism because I've observed it for more than 15 years now. There are few things about which I'm an expert; it turns out Holocaust denial is one of those things.
You write, "You say that, if one thinks the Holocaust was greatly exaggerated, then one must look for a conspiracy to exaggerate it, and the only party who would carry out that conspiracy would be 'the Jews'. No, not at all."
Really, then who else? Perhaps I'm missing something, but beyond a conspiracy of some kind, what plausible means is there by which the majority of people are fooled? Or is it possibly a conspiracy of someone else? Because I'm not buying that some person or people make a better candidate for leading that particular conspiracy other than the Jews.
You continued, "To say it's 'the Jews' would require in addition a conception of collective ethnic responsibility."
That is scarcely a problem for most anti-Semites.
You: "Palestine solidarity activists are commonly smeared with "blaming the Jews" - why is the ridiculous allegation that you believe something about 'the Jews' more effective than an allegation of believing any other group identified by the definite article 'the'? It's because of philo-Semitism, deference to Jews, the goyische urge to prove we're not Nazis. It's the only serious form of racism left in Western societies. Even Obama has it!"
It's more than that. It's that anti-Semitism, unlike most other kinds of prejudice, has an enormous and quite recent body count. That's what gives people pause about anti-Semitism that they SHOULD have about all kinds of prejudice, because given the "right" situation, any prejudice can become murderous and even genocidal.
I'm nearly certain this is area we've already covered, but if you want an analogous situation to examine, look at today's Rwanda, almost 18 years after the genocide there. You have in President Paul Kagame a man who appears quite bent on perpetual war and crimes against humanity; he pursues these goals with impunity because he came to power in the aftermath of the genocide of his own people, the Tutsi, on the nightly news for three months.
Palestinian solidarity activists need to bear this in mind, both as an element of what actually motivates Israel as a state as well as why much of what Israel tells the world about itself is readily accepted.
You write, "Why is it that subjecting their history to cold analysis, when that analysis makes a mistake, has to lead to collective punishment? It doesn't."
Well, now the argument goes beyond just the Holocaust and its denial. You and I both know that the Holocaust provides a key raison d'être for Israel and, as such, denying it is denying Israel's legitimacy, if you believe in such concepts. You and I also know that Israel as it is today is established upon and by much more than the Holocaust, but I'd argue that the vast majority of Zionists in and outside of Israel fear that the "collective punishment" if the Holocaust were widely believed to have been a hoax would be negation of Israel. That's not acceptable to them, and it's not acceptable to them because, as a stateless people, the Jews were subjected to genocide.
I'm not saying I agree with all the above, please note — far from it. I'm just telling you what I think the motivating factors are. Although I just re-read the intro from Ali Abunimah's book on a one-state solution this morning and found very little, if anything, with which I disagree.