One Minute to Midnight
Dr. Irving Moskowitz
OF RUDOLF KASTNER
Jewish leftwing "revisionist" historians have found a new hero: Rudolf Kastner. A new Israeli pseudo-documentary film, and an essay in Moment magazine by U.S. college professor Egon Mayer, seek to portray Kastner, a Jew who collaborated with the Nazis, as an Oskar Schindler-style hero.
Kastner was a Labor Zionist leader and Jewish Agency official in Nazi-occupied Hungary in 1944. He made a deal with Adolf Eichmann and his aides to keep quiet about Auschwitz in exchange for the release of a handful of his relatives, friends and Labor Zionist cronies.
He also refused to intervene on behalf of Hanah Senesh, a young Zionist heroine from Palestine who had parachuted into Hungary to try to save the Jews, but was captured by the Nazis. Kastner knew she was being tortured to death by the Nazis, but took no action. After the war, Kastner went so far as to file a deposition at the Nuremberg Trials on behalf of one of Eichmann's aides, Kurt Becher.
The Kastner case became a cause celebre in the 1950s, when an Israeli journalist described Kastner's sordid collaboration, and Kastner sued him for libel. During the libel trial, the details of what Kastner did were revealed in their full horror. The famous book Perfidy, by Ben Hecht, analyzed the Kastner trial and its implications.
But now a new, leftwing version of the Kastner-Senesh case is to be broadcast on Israel Television. According to this new account, Senesh was not really such a heroine after all, and Kastner was not such a
villain. The producers of this new documentary want their viewing audiences to "understand" Kastner's dilemma and not be too "judgmental."
The Israeli filmmakers who are so anxious to denigrate Senesh and rehabilitate Kastner are part of a much larger group of leftwing Israeli "revisionist" historians. They claim that standard perceptions of Israeli history are too pro-Zionist, and they want to "revise" them.
In recent books and articles, they have tried to blame Israel for the flight of Arabs from Israel in 1948; they have claimed that Israel ignored opportunities for peace talks with the Arabs in the 1950s and 1960s; and they have accused Israel of starting the various Arab-Israeli wars. Their goal is simple: to destroy the Jewish people's pride in its heroes --from Hannah Senesh to the founders of Israel to the Israeli Army-- and to glorify enemies of the Jews, whether Yasser Arafat or Rudolf Kastner.
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faxing and e-mail. Some U.S. officials believe that the group is connected to the recent bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed a number of American soldiers. According to U.S.News & World Report, following the car bomb attack, "its members talked of growing anti-American sentiment in Saudi Arabia and said that if Americans wanted to prevent future attacks, 'they have to stop their support of this dictatorial and cruel regime.'"
One of CDLR's leaders said, "if the regime wants, there can be smooth, nonviolent change. If not, unfortunately, it has to be removed by nonsmooth, violent means.'" Perhaps Peres should skip the computer and place a gun in every Arab home, so that they won't have to waste time with faxes.