You’ll remember that earlier this month, some extreme Leftists conspired to secure the cancellation of a talk by Karl Pfeifer, a veteran antifascist and survivor of the Holocaust. The subject of the talk was the resurgence of racism in Hungary, including the murder of eight Roma. The pretext for the cancellation of the talk was that Karl had participated in the massacre of Palestinians.
That was, of course, a lie: wholly without foundations. The true reason for the cancellation was much clearer and more basic.
Here is Karl in Haaretz
Those accusing me did not name the place where this alleged massacre was committed, or provide any other details, and even acknowledged that their information was incomplete. But when pushed for corroboration, they settled the matter by explaining that “Pfeifer is a Zionist.” At the same time, in an apparent – and bizarre – attempt to appear even-handed, those in attendance resolved that they also would not be willing to host someone who had been a member of the militant Palestinian organization Black September in the 1970s.
Of course, no one at the youth center asked me to respond to the accusations before they decided to rescind the invitation. Nor have any of them been willing to answer the questions of German journalists who learned about the incident regarding just why they excluded me. I only learned about what happened because it was reported to someone in Antifa by two of its members who had been present at the decisive meeting.
Fortunately, my hosts were able to organize an alternate space with limited notice, and I gave my lecture in the end. My subject was Hungary, where a recent resurgence of racist acts and statements can be observed. This includes the murder of eight Roma (Gypsies) in racial attacks during the past two years, and the shocking anti-Jewish verbal attacks in the right-wing media there and on YouTube.
As for me, I did indeed serve in the Palmach and the Israel Defense Forces from 1946 until 1950, after arriving in Mandatory Palestine in 1943. And although I left Israel in 1950, I am proud of my service as a soldier there, when we were defending ourselves against aggression and fighting for the right to have our own state. I did not participate in any massacres, but I know that improper acts were carried out by both sides in the conflict between Israel and its neighbors, as happens during wartime.
But the comparison of the Palmach with Black September, which carried out murderous acts of terrorism against civilians in the name of the Palestinian struggle, is an outrageous and ignorant one.
Karl does not stand alone, however.
He is supported in Germany by the true antifascists. From the Jerusalem Post:
The author of the minutes and a member of the Antifa-AG University Bielefeld, a left-wing group that organized Pfeifer’s lecture, told the Post that the rationale for barring Pfeifer’s talk at the AJZ is “anti-Semitism.”
The Antifa-AG member spoke on condition of anonymity because he could face “personal difficulties.”
Antifa is an abbreviation for anti-fascists, and the chapter in Bielefeld said the member will draft a press statement which will condemn the cancellation of Pfeifer’s talk as anti-Semitism.
And we stand with you too, Karl.