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Dr Roger Garaudy,[...] May 3rd, 1996
Dear Dr Garaudy,
Just World Trust (JUST) îs distressed to learn that you have been put on trial under
the 1990 Gayssot Law which covers matters pertaining to the Jewish holocaust.
Your book Founding Myths of Israeli Politics is apparently the cause. In that book
you have questioned issues which most Zionists regard as sacred and beyond debate.
However, contrary to what Zionist groups in France are alleging, you have not denied
the holocaust. The genocide of European Jews perpetrated by the Nazis in the Second World
War was undoubtedly one of the most heinous crimes against humanity. It was an act of evil
which any human being who cherishes his or her dignity would not hesitate to condemn.
What you have done is to examine the concept of the holocaust itself. Other scholars
have also asked if a term which means “sacrifice to the gods” is appropriate in the context of a
Nazi ideology that repudiated the Divine. You have also raised doubts about the magnitude
of the Nazi massacre. Here again others have preceded you. Indeed, even “official” historians
have in récent years revised the figure of those killed at Àuschwitz from 4 million to just over
1 million. The mainstream media however has never highlighted this. Neither has the
mainstream média given any prominence to intellectual writings that have over the decades
questioned notions of “the promised land” and “the chosen people” — notions which you have analysed with scholastic rigour.
Even if you are wrong about various facets of the genocide of the Jews, what Zionist
scholars and journalists should do is to refute your arguments through dispassionate
intellectual discourse. This is what intellectual freedom means. Surely, in the arena of ideas,
you have as much right as anyone else to explore and even explode what you think are some
of the myths surrounding Zionism and Israël. Why is it that the Zionist intelligentsia who are
fervent exponents of intellectual freedom are not prepared to grant this basic right to you —
or anyone else for that matter — when it comes to the question of Zionism and Israël ?
Doesn't the freedom to seek the truth extend to historical episodes such as the holocaust and
religious beliefs such as the belief in a “chosen people”?
It is sad that instead of respecting the quest for truth, instead of showing tolerance for
another point of view, the Zionist intelligentsia and their supporters in France have gone on a
rampage to smear you and to vilify you. The mainstream media in your country has made
you look like some anti-semitic fanatic. Even those who have come out in support of you
like the highly respected Catholic priest, Abbe Pierre, have been mocked and maligned. In
fact it was after Pierre described your book as an example of "astounding and brilliant
erudition and scrupulous methodology" that the Zionist intelligentsia took notice of it and
began to deride and denigrate both of you.
What is happening to you and Pierre, in a sense, reveals the hideous face of Zionism.
It is an incredibly intolerant ideology whose concept of the Jew is a mixture of bigotry and
jingoism. This is why Zionists will not allow anyone to evaluate critically Zionist history or
the Israeli state. This has given rise to a strong streak of arrogance and haughtiness in
Zionism which expresses itself in the suppression of any idea that appears to challenge its
legitimacy. It is this arrogance and haughtiness carried into the sphere of power and politics
which has brought so much death and destruction to Zionist Israel's neighbours — the most
recent example of which is of course Lebanon.
By standing firm and resolute in the face of so much intolerance and hysteria you
have displayed a high degree of fortitude. The few friends and supporters who have remained
at your side in France and elsewhere in the West are also men and wornen of great courage.
For Zionism, when it decides to target its foes, can be very vîcious.
We pray that God Almighty will protect you in this hour of trial and tribulation — and
give you the strength to continue to speak the truth.
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar.Director.Just World Trust (JUST)