7 avril 2015

From Lord Menuhin to Roger Garaudy (1997 et 1998). Deux lettres

27 th November 1997

Dear Roger Garaudy,

I appreciate your excellent and comprehensive letter and share your
feelings of frustration and disappointment at the drift of events which is
leading many of us, I fear, to further conflict. You may be interested in my
enclosed letter about Jerusalem, which actually was printed in English in
Ha 'Aretz, with, as you can well understand, the deletion of the phrase
towards the end which began that there was no justification, either
historical or religious, for Israël unless it fulfilled its human mission for
peace and full sharing of the land by those who are ready to die for it. I am
also enclosing my Prayer and an article I wrote, entitled In Defence of the
I would certainly have answered your book Les Mythes Fondateurs de la
Politique  Israelienne , but either I over looked  it or did not receive it, or I
did not get round to it. You have no idea how voluminous is my
correspondence and how great the number of books that I receive. Please
forgive me. It has nothing to do with any kind of resentment. We translate
too easily an oversight into a deliberate symbol. Be assured, this is not at
ail the case.
I feel that it is perhaps wrong and exaggerated to prove the Pope's and the
Bishops' confession and admission regarding their own and the church's
contribution to anti-Semitism as being the result of the Israeli propaganda
machine. It is too genuine, and we should not reduce confession, which we
would expect of everybody on some score or other, to a deliberate political
strategy. Of course, the Pope and the Bishops should have added also the
many Christian Slavs who were massacred and the Gypsy people,
although the fact of the Old Testament being a Jewish document and the
basis of the Bible - in fact, the bulk of the Bible - does make the Jews
particularly affiliated with ail the Christian religions and very particularly
with the Catholic one. There is no doubt that my father had the right
instinct and foresaw the developments which we are now looking on with
such horror and fear. We cannot turn the clock back.
I am also enclosing a short comment on an obituary on my cousin, Isaiah
Berlin, from which you will also understand another Jewish point of view
and my feeling that at some time or other, if the world is ever to be guided
by basic principles sanctioned by a sense of the sacred, there will have to
be a statute of limitations on "corrections" of events. The corrections of
the events would be more cruel and more self-destructive almost than the
events themselves when they occurred. The difficulty is that today thèse
events are actually happening, and we cannot even consider them in
I do not know who "LICRA" are, but do keep me informed, as I am quite
prepared to say exactly what I feel about your good work, about you and
your dear wife and my own experience of your integrity. I feel that owing
to so much persecution, many Jews have lost their intuitive gifts and are
concerned more than anything else with never again to be at the mercy of
an oppressor. The trouble is, I feel they are going about it the wrong way,
that ultimate security cannot be achieved by the gun but by the reciprocity
of services and good will, which ensure our being welcome in society.
They will say, as I know, that the Jewish experience has not proven this. It
is said that people who carry the burden of persecution perhaps cannot
think in any other way.
There is one people, however, who can, and that is that astonishing Gypsy
people who, perhaps because they have no records and are an aural
civilization, can forget more quickly than any other. They are also
traditionally not attached to territory or goods or even Holy Books, and
they have always been mercilessly treated. This continues today, and you
will be interested to know that I am trying to create an Assembly of
Cultures to protect cultures, to create a Second House, a Second
Legislative Chamber actually, that will balance the political Parliament of
Nations, and at our first public meeting on 21st November we already had
a few representative Gypsies, a very personable one with a university
education, but very genuine, who will welcome this initiative of my
I know that you were using Les Mythes Fondateurs de la Politique
Israélienne merely to indicate the possibility or even probability of an
exaggeration. However, I think it is in questionable taste to discuss
specific numbers when it cornes to something so horrific as the Holocaust -
Gypsies or Jews, Slavs or Gays, or the physically or mentally "unfit". In
doing this you lay yourself open to the accusation that the crime is less if it
were three million than if it were six million. We know that millions were
destroyed, and the point is that millions were destroyed even beyond the
Jewish millions. I think we should take our stand against this hum an
propensity which has occurred throughout the ages and is still occurring in
South-East Asia, Africa, Central America. Let us, therefore, not sensor the
Jews alone for something for which even you and I carry a certain
responsibility. Unless each one of us realises that we are capable of
criminal actions, we will never establish the right balance for judgment.
There was very likely, as you indicate, some collusion and bartering
between the Nazis and those who wanted to save as many Jews as they
could. There was also collusion between the American government and the
Zionists to keep Jews out of America and send them, often against their
will, to Israël. There is this dreadful business of Jews now trying to secure
their pound of flesh in gold when, in fact, the Jews would be far wiser to
avoid any association in people's minds with gold. It is a trap which,
despite ancient Jewish wisdom, finds ready stupidity in the present world.
I would not go so far as you and as far as other extremists (you are not an
extremist) as seeing a Jewish plot in every political situation.
May I say that you are my father impersonated in a Muslim ideology? You
are both as passionate in your way and to a certain extent carried away
beyond the point of absolute equilibrium. I understand you so well because
I understood my father and to a large extent share his views. I think that
we are at a dangerous period in the evolution of humanity and the
evolution of government, in the evolution of democracy. We should ail try
to concentrate on the validity of cultures and the danger of sovereign
states. In that respect, de Gaulle's statement of 27th November 1967
which you quote, although valid in his day, is no longer valid, because he
speaks of chacun des Etats.
I have written you hardly a shorter letter than you have written me, but I
think I have covered the issue. I am ashamed to say that I cannot read the
Hindu text you sent me, but I shall have it translated.
With warmest thoughts to you and your dear lady, in which Diana joins,

Yehudi Menuhin