Barry Chamish, Holocaust Revisionist?
by Daniel Pipes
Anyone who troubles to read my review of The Last Days of Israel, a 2001 book by Barry Chamish, will be aware of my contempt for his work. In the review I call Chamish "Israel's foremost conspiracy theorist," disparage his oeuvre as a "barely edited rant with an alarmist title published by an obscure provincial press," fault his "overheated prose, his overstuffed account, and his overgenerous estimate of himself standing at the crux of history," and conclude by finding the book full of "mad-house digressions."
Chamish being no shrinking violet, he returns the compliments, mostly by accusing me of being a member of the dread Council on Foreign Relations (true enough) which he and other bright lights believe runs the world (sure). But to get a feel for his reasoning, first read my critique of Thomas L. Friedman's ideas, then read how Chamish transforms this column into me "bailing out" and apologizing for Friedman.
All this is by way of setting the stage for the news that "Barry Chamish, author (Israel)" is a scheduled speaker at what is billed as a "Major Revisionist Conference" to be hosted by the Institute for Historical Review, called by ADL "a leading voice in the international movement to deny the Holocaust and vindicate Hitler and his Nazi regime." The IHR announcement proudly states that the April 2004 event is "shaping up as the revisionist event of the year" and compliments itself on "a stellar line-up of speakers."
Even I never imagined that Chamish would stoop this low. Maybe now his surprisingly large Israeli following will see the light and finally stop listening to him. (February 26, 2004)
Feb. 27, 2004 update: Two pieces of good news following my posting yesterday in which I questioned Barry Chamish being listed as a speaker at a "Major Revisionist Conference." (1) Chamish responded to my posting above by stating that as a result of it, "I'm not going to the conference." (2) The Adelaide Institute, an Australian organization headed by Fredrick Töben, is hailed by the IHR for publishing "an important revisionist newsletter" and decried by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council for its "astonishingly high profile in the dark galaxy of international anti-Semitism." The institute devotes many pages of its website to Chamish's writings. (To my dismay and despite my demand that it be taken down, it includes this blog entry too.) Also featured there is a long posting with background for Chamish's appearance at the IHR conference that makes clear that Chamish is (in Töben's parlance) a "Holocaust believer." Or, in Chamish's own words, "I despise Holocaust denial." So, he may think the Council on Foreign Relations runs the world and he may be acclaimed as "the leading UFO researcher in Israel," but at least he is not a Holocaust denier.
Also today, the blogger Nathan Gesher points to the parallels between Chamish challenging Yigal Amir's responsibility for killing Rabin and Holocaust deniers challenging the Nazis' responsibility for the Holocaust:
April 18, 2004 update: It appears that Chamish's "I'm not going to the conference" statement in February was an uncharacteristic moment of good sense – and therefore one he quickly reversed. According to the schedule of the "International Revisionist Conference" to take place in Sacramento, Chamish will both attend and speak; his talk is scheduled for 5:00-5:55 p.m., PDT on April 24. For anyone curious to see his performance, a webcast of this event can be seen then by logging onto http://www.internationalrevisionistconference.com/internet.html. The conference website also informs us that Chamish's books will be sold at the event for, as it explains, his writings "are not so bad, since they are mostly critical of the Israeli government."
April 19, 2004 update: Poor Barry. The "International Revisionist Conference" announces today that the event has been cancelled. This means that Israel's leading UFO researcher has not only been denied a chance to rub shoulders with Holocaust deniers but he's probably out some cash, given that the conference organizers say they "cannot promise" a refund for travel expenses.
August 2004 update: The History News Network provides additional information on that conference at "Say, Do You Know Where the Holocaust Deniers Are Meeting?"
March 21, 2005 update: One more indication of Chamish being in tight with the Holocaust deniers: http://www.rense.com/, a site that celebrates Ernst Zundel (calling him a "modern day Galileo") and others of his ilk, not only links to "Barry Chamish" but posts his materials and even sells his book. And in return, http://www.barrychamish.com/ links to "Rense." Looks like a cozy, reciprocal arrangement to me.
July 27, 2005 update: The blogger who goes by Sultan Knish makes some good points in "Barry Chamish obstructs the fight against Disengagement." After noting Chamish's neo-Nazi links and the "bizarre concoction" on his conspiracy theories, Sultan Knish considers the effect of his writing on the right to which he supposedly belongs, but which he discredits, leads astray, and causes divisions in its ranks: given airtime, people like Chamish, mislead and obstruct:
Nov. 20, 2005 update: Sultan Knish also has something to say on Chamish and Holocaust denial:
Dec. 1, 2005 update: In an posting dating from October 2005, Barry Chamish inveighs against giving alms to the Jewish refugees from Gaza ("Don't give them a nickel"). Sultan Knish discusses this obnoxious argument in a posting today, noting that although Chamish's "main outlets remain Neo-Nazi and conspiracy theory sites, … he continues to be published and defended by Reuven Koret of Israel Insider and occasionally interviewed on Arutz 7." Sultan Knish rightly suggests that "It's past time to bring an end to Barry Chamish's presence on the right."
Feb. 4, 2006 update: "Documenting the Ties of ‘Conspiracist' Barry Chamish to neo-Nazi Organizations and Websites" is the title of a new website, http://www.barry-chamish.com, that provides rich evidence about topics merely touched upon here.
Apr. 11, 2006 update: Chamish sent out an e-mail to his list, in which he links to the amazon.com page selling a book by Hennecke Kardel titled Adolf Hitler - Founder of Israel: Israel in War With Jews, then writes:
Chamish may "frankly [not] know if the book is right or wrong" but I do. It's an atrocious antisemitic screed. As one amazon.com reviewer sums it up, the book argues that "the Nazi leadership had ‘Jewish ancestry' – therefore, the Holocaust was an act of Jewish self-hatred." And Chamish has no opinion?
Apr. 21, 2006 update: At "Chamish Singlehandedly Fights Off the Extra-Dimensional Sabbatean Demonic UFO Invasion," Sultan Knish exposes Chamish's cooperation with someone named Jim Searcy. Among his other charming ideas, Searcy thinks that the Star of David is an occult Satanic symbol, Kabbalah is the work of the Devil, and the Noahide laws are a conspiracy to enslave mankind to serve Lucifer (notice a certain theme here?). Writes Sultan Knish: "This is the sort of hatefull Anti-semitic trash that Barry Chamish hangs around with and uses to defame other Jews, when he's not hanging around with this Holocaust denier buddies." Oh, and Searcy helps Chamish raise money.
Aug. 21, 2006 update: Not only does rense.com, a neo-Nazi site, post the latest Chamish epistle, "Israeli Secrets I Shouldn't Know," but Chamish himself links at the end of this letter to a story at the mathaba.net website that along the right side of the page promotes such Holocaust-denying reports as "German magazine denies Holocaust hate laws" and "Three of the latest letters from Ernest Zundel – Prisoner of Conscience."
This might be the place to note the amusing fact that a 2003 rense.com ad for one of Chamish's books more-or-less quotes my 2001 review of another of his books that Chamish "has emerged in recent years as Israel's foremost conspiracy theorist." Of course, I meant it as a deprecation but rense.com quotes it as high praise.
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