While Broadway successfully hosts a musical comedy Springtime for Hitler, a prominent Californian newspaper published a revisionist article, attempting to reverse the accepted version of Nazi Germany and justify the persecution of its Jews.
The author of the article has a highly original vision of the German life before Hitler's rise to power. By subterfuge, he infers that German Jews in 1932 enjoyed full protection of the army under their command, while the Germans were not allowed to bear arms. Whenever the Jews would have a feast, local Germans would be locked up under curfew for a few days in a row. A Jew could kill a German with an impunity, while a German who harmed a Jew was locked in jail for life. By default, every plot of land that nobody could 'prove' ownership of, was considered Jewish. A Jew could travel freely in all Germany, while a German had to get a hard-to-get Jewish ausweis. Even water was supplied in abundance to the Jewish homes, while Germans received water once a week.
Trying to justify Nazi excesses, the author wants us to believe, that before Hitler, the Jews of Germany voted in parliamentary elections, while Germans could vote only for their toy assembly, devoid of real powers. The only employment left for Germans was a low pay job in a Jewish-owned factory. Germans were forbidden by law to reside in the Jewish settlements. The agricultural base of the German peasants was eroded by the Jewish bulldozers relentlessly destroying their crops. Anti-Semitism, according to this revisionist article, was the name of a German movement endeavoring to rid Germany of its Jewish masters. The author infers that Hitler just trying to get rid of invading Jews, who seized the land of German farmers by force.
No Palestinian would object to a Jewish neighbor, if he was treated in a neighborly way. Jewish settlers would be able to remain forever in the places they chose, by foregoing their privileges, sharing water with their Gentile neighbors, allowing non-Jews to reside in their settlements, granting them the right to vote, freedom of movement, safety of ownership.
This outrageous description of Weimar Germany and its Jews is too fantastic for any reader, and Ms Lipstadt, the scourge of deniers, would do well to investigate this writer and his attempt to poison American public opinion. But the most unusual feature of this perverse pice was the fact that it was concocted by a Jewish writer and published in a Jewish-owned newspaper. The author, Jonathan Kellerman, a self-described 'writer of 17 books and a pediatrician', published this historic revisionist profanity (Settlers Bear Brunt of Violence, Anti-Semitism, in the LA Times, on May 24.
He did not dare to write this perversion of history explicitly, but subtly implied it by comparing the Jews in pre-Hitler Germany with the latter-day Jewish settlers on the occupied Palestinian lands. Kellerman actually exults German Nazis, by comparing them with the freedom-seeking Palestinians. The insane Californian does not stop here. He proclaims that every Jew, wherever he lives, behaves towards the local people as the Jewish settler in Palestine. He surely overreaches himself, as non-Jewish Californians can travel freely in their land, and are not forced to have car license plates of distinct color.
Kellerman does not even consider the 'radical' solution of a democracy, where Jews and non-Jews have the same rights and enjoy equal protection under the law. No Palestinian would object to a Jewish neighbor, if he was treated in a neighborly way. Jewish settlers would be able to remain forever in the places they chose, by foregoing their privileges, sharing water with their Gentile neighbors, allowing non-Jews to reside in their settlements, granting them the right to vote, freedom of movement, safety of ownership. Naturally they would have to restore the property seized from goys to its rightful owners, and avoid discriminatory practices, but afterwards they could live in peace with the gentle Palestinians.
Kellerman has a strange idea that 'indigenous people returning to their land' are entitled to confiscate property of 'less indigenous' folks. Well, let him follow his own preaching and return his house to one of the Mexican immigrants returning to their 'indigenous' land in Southern California.
One additional matter proves that the author really has no idea of what he is talking about, and probably has never even visited Palestine. He writes: 'recently, Palestinian rioters destroyed one of the world's oldest synagogues, a 1200-year old architectural beauty'. The rioters, or whoever, did this black deed some eight hundred years ago, in the heyday of the Crusader King Baldwin II. That is hardly 'recent'. By the time the three synagogues of Jericho were excavated in the nineteenth century, the only remains were the mosaic floors and they were well preserved by the Palestinians for the last one hundred fifty years, as a part of their heritage. We have just a vague idea of their architecture, as not a brick survived the Crusades and Middle Ages.
Kellerman describes himself as a 'Professor of Pediatrics at USC medical school'. If that is not an invention, like 'the 1200-year architectural beauty', I would hesitate to send my child to a pediatrician, who suffers from such delusions.
Israel Shamir is an Israeli writer and journalist, living in Jaffa.