The Holocaust Historiography Project

A Deceitful Swipe at the IHR

Mark Weber

In an advertisement that appeared in The New York Times, April 18, 2000, the American Jewish Committee took (another) swipe at the Institute for Historical Review. Along with the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Congress, the AJ Committee is generally regarded as one of the three most influential Jewish-Zionist organizations in the United States.

The Times ad, headlined “Hate for Sale,” sharply criticized two major on-line booksellers, and Barnes & Noble, for selling the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — a purported Jewish plan to control the world that most specialists regard as a fraud. The AJ Committee ad went on declare: “The main US publishers of the Protocols editions offered by these booksellers are Noontide Press — once linked to the racist and anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby and now the printing arm of the so-called Institute for Historical Review, the leading organ of Holocaust denial worldwide — and Book Tree Press, supplier of an array of extremist materials.”

There are several falsehoods here. First, Noontide Press does not publish the Protocols. Like and Barnes & Noble, Noontide markets copies supplied by an outside printer/ distributor. Secondly, Noontide Press has never been the “printing arm” of the IHR. It is simply an affiliated publishing enterprise. The IHR publishes books under its own imprint. Finally, the IHR is not an “organ of Holocaust denial.” The term “Holocaust denial” is both stupid and polemical. As anyone who is really familiar with the IHR and its work knows, this characterization is a cheap smear. Unfortunately, the falsehoods in this advertisement are all too typical of the distortions of the AJ Committee and similar Jewish-Zionist groups.

Many people regard the Protocols as the authentic blueprint of a diabolical Jewish scheme to control the world. Others dismiss it as a pernicious fraud concocted nearly a century ago by the Tsarist Russian secret police. The AJ Committee luridly calls it “the most bloodstained volume in modern history.” The Committee’s call for banning this work echoes the arguments of censors throughout the ages, who contend that others, will be seduced or misled by an “offensive” work. If the Protocols deserve to be banned, why not other “offensive” works? Why not the Communist Manifesto, the Jewish Talmud, or even the Bible? We believe that all such works, including the Protocols, should be available for public scrutiny and study. All the same, the Noontide Press catalog description specifically warns the prospective buyer that the Protocols is “offered caveat lector.”