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Diary

The "4,000 Jews Forewarned" Nonsense Again

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I am posting this here (and on Kevin Barrett's blog -- correction: this didn't work for technical reasons;see my comment below), where he brought it up) because I am tired of repeating it.

May, Smith, Fetzer and Fox wrote on Aug. 3, 2009:
According to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, New York's Jewish community was tipped off to the WTC attacks of 9/11 hours in advance.
When I questioned this, Fetzer came up with his source, which turned out to be not Ha'aretz but a Greek weekly called A1, which is the organ of a right-wing party called Popular Orthodox Rally and whose president is Georgios Karatzaferis. The Wikipedia article about Karatzaferis says:
Karatzaferis and his media (Teleasty channel , A1 newspaper) have been repeatedly accused in Greece of harbouring an extremist far-right, xenophobic and chauvinist agenda. At various times, he has made controversial statements laden with populist, homophobic, racist, chauvinist and anti-semitic content (including a reference to the "myth of Auschwitz"), as reported by newspapers.
What Fetzer calls "prima facie proof that these two articles did appear in those Israeli papers" (Ha'aretz and Yediot Ahronoth) is the fact that this claim appeared in A1. He proceeded to viciously attack me, accusing me of having an "agenda" and being an "anti-anti-Semite" -- which by the way I take as a compliment even though I doubt that he intended it as one. (And no, I'm not Jewish, if anyone thinks that is relevant.)

The only prima facie evidence of anything is that 1) Fetzer et al. falsely attributed the claim to Ha'aretz rather than to A1, and 2) A1 falsely attributed the claim to Ha'aretz and Yediot Ahronoth, and 3) no Israeli newspaper (or any other newspaper of repute) published this claim.

What does seem to have been published in an Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, on Sept. 12, 2001, is this:
The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem has so far received the names of 4,000 Israelis believed to have been in the areas of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon at the time of the attack.
You can google this whole quote and find many sources, including a US government page which links to a David Irving website that purports to reprint the original online article in its entirety. Despite Irving's notorious reputation as an anti-Semite, to his credit he does not grossly misconstrue the quote as others have done, but "merely" characterizes it as an "exaggeration." I have not been able to find the text on the Jerusalem Post online archive, which is somewhat disconcerting, but given the number of secondary sources that report it (819 Google hits for the entire quote), including, as I say, the US government, I tend to believe this story actually did appear in the Jerusalem Post. Nevertheless, for Jim Fetzer's edification, one cannot call this "prima facie" evidence that this article actually appeared either, since the original seems to have disappeared.

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This is not a new story. What appears to have happened, beginning with a report on September 17 on a Lebanese Hezbollah-owned satellite television channel (Al-Manar), is that the original quote about the number of Israelis estimated to be living near the WTC and the Pentagon was distorted into "4,000 Jews failed to report for work at the WTC on 9/11," or some variation thereof such as we see in the quote from Fetzer et al. above. This, we will recall, is the same canard that cost Amiri Baraka the poet laureateship of the US (and which he, like Fetzer, refuses to retract).

It would have been easy enough, and much more sensible, to admit his mistake, but to my great dismay Jim Fetzer insisted on attacking not only me for challenging him, but also Elias Davidsson and Kevin Barrett for agreeing with me. He will no doubt attack me again when he reads this. Too bad. I have defended him on other issues (see "9/11 Aletheia," "The Truth Wars," and "Troo Wit Troot"), and responded moderately and gently to his account of our disagreement that he posted on OpEdNews (but subsequently changed to exclude the references to me), but one has to draw the line someplace.

I stand by my opinion that regardless of what if anything the Israeli government had to do with 9/11, anti-Semitism is a mental illness, a syndrome of denial, and a thorn in the side of the "truth movement" (see "9/11, Anti-Semitism and Denial"). But this particular disagreement is not a matter of opinion. It is a quite straightforward matter of fact, at least it should be, and failure to agree on something this straightforward is extremely disheartening. I actually like Jim Fetzer (when he is not calling me names) and respect most of the work he has done, but on this issue he is unreasonable, not to say crazy (as Kevin put it).

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Former teacher, born in the US but longtime resident of Germany.

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