A much-hyped lecture by revisionist historian Mark Weber and an accompanying protest of it happened last weekend - just not at the same time.So U of E allows this group of bigots to have weekly meetings using its facilities. If they are willing to talk about all Jews as being a threat to the world in a publicized speech like this, who knows what they say when the press isn't there?
Originally scheduled for Friday night at McKenzie Hall, Weber's lecture was postponed because his flights were delayed. But the protest of about 50 people went on.
Quakers and local peace activists gathered outside the hall in the cold and listened to speeches from preachers and rabbis. One sign summed up the basic argument of those present: "Support Palestinians, Not Nazis."
Pacifica Forum is a weekly discussion group that meets in McKenzie Hall. Founded by Professor Emeritus Orval Etter, the groups' Web site has links to "Holocaust Revisionism" sites. Mark Weber is the director of the Institute for Historical Review, which describes itself as "the world's leading Holocaust denial organization."
Weber's speech happened on Saturday in the Fir Room of the EMU. Titled "Free Speech vs. Zionist Power," it focused on the influence of the Israeli lobby on U.S. foreign policy.
Weber compared himself to Desmond Tutu, opponent of South African apartheid, and former President Jimmy Carter, who have both come under fire for public criticism of Israel's policies toward Palestinians.
Weber dismissed what he called "silly arguments" presented in editorials and letters in The Register-Guard leading up to his visit, and said "the same arguments used by bigots throughout history" had been used to silence him or discourage people from attending his lecture.
The main point of Weber's speech was that the U.S. stands in opposition to the rest of the world when it supports Israel, and it does so because Jews are a minority with disproportionate power that comprises 11 percent of the nation's elite, including 25 percent of all journalists and publishers. Weber attributed those statistics to political science professor and author Benjamin Ginsburg.
Not only is it dangerous to give such influence to such a small minority, Weber argued, but he said Jews are by nature distrustful of non-Jews and are part of a worldwide separatist movement.
Weber said that history had already been revised by others who ignore that "Jews wielded tremendous if not dominant power in the first years of the Soviet regime."
"Bullshit!" junior Andy Saxton shouted.
"No, he's right," a man in the front row shouted back.
"I wanted to see if he really believed it or if he was just getting paid for it," Saxton later said of Weber's talk. "I think that his speech was anti-Semitic drivel in the guise of political dissent."
Saxton said he is a Democrat and leans "more toward supporting Israel than I do supporting this guy."
That seemed to be untrue of many in the room, even those who came to protest Weber.
"I find myself in 65 percent agreement with you tonight," John Saemann said. A self-described Jewish Quaker, Saemann said he opposes Israel's treatment of Palestinians and many other policies, but disagreed with Weber's broad strokes against all Jewish people.
"When I declared I was a Quaker, I said when I smell anti-Semitism I become an instant Jew," Saemann said.
Many in the crowd raised objections to Weber's past and his association with the National Alliance, a white nationalist organization. Weber served as the editor of that groups' newsletter, which he described as a "white racialist" publication.
But Weber said that was a red herring.
"It's irrelevant," he said.
"If (conservative author) David Horowitz is speaking, no one mentions he was a Communist. What I say should be judged on its own merits," he said.
Catherine Berger, who described herself as a non-traditional undergraduate, called Weber's remarks "a different generation of misinformation."
"My mother is German and grew up under the Nazis. I was told to be here to see if anything had changed, if they had gotten the right ideas, and they haven't. It hasn't changed," she said.
An interesting inference if one accepts Weber's premises: If Jews only comprise 11% of the nation's "elite" and 25% of our journalists, and they still manage to create the entire agenda for the nation, then Weber must feel that the other 89%/75% of non-Jews are really, really gullible and stupid.
He hates goyim more than the Jews do!