Magazine Backtracks on Anti-Jewish Slur
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, a glossy pro-Arab monthly magazine, had published an article in its November 2005 issue alleging that Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr. was disloyal to America and helped prolong World War One in order to show his "loyalty to Zionism."
The Wyman Institute and Henry Morgenthau III, the ambassador's grandson, demanded a retraction. They compared the slur to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the infamous antisemitic tract which claims that Jews are disloyal to their countries of residence and conspire to cause world wars. The Wyman Institute pointed out that Ambassador Morgenthau was, in fact, anti-Zionist, a fact which makes the Washington Report's allegation all the more absurd.
The latest issue of the Washington Report (January/February 2006) includes a note from the editors, printed as a comment on a letter, which acknowledges that Amb. Morgenthau "opposed Zionism." Although the editors' note did not comment directly on the erroneous article from November or the protests against it, the editor's acknowledgment directly contradicts and undermines the main point of the November article.
The Wyman Institute issued the following statement by Henry Morgenthau III (who is a member of the Wyman Institute's Advisory Committee):
"The Washington Report's anti-Jewish slur about my grandfather was an outrage. It is significant that the editors have acknowledged, in print, that the central contention of the attack on my grandfather was, in fact, false. It's a pity that the editors of the Washington Report did not have the integrity to forthrightly admit their mistake and apologize."
BACKGROUND ON THE CONTROVERSY:
The article in the November issue of the Washington Report was authored by "John Cornelius," whom the magazine identified as "the nom de plume of an American with long-standing interest in the Middle East."
The article suggested that Ambassador Morgenthau's aborted 1917 peace mission to Turkey could have brought an early end to World War I, but that Morgenthau allowed Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann to talk him out of the effort because Morgenthau chose to "show more loyalty to Zionism than to his president or his country."
The article also falsely claimed that "a [U.S.] Senator" testified at congressional hearings in 1922 that the Zionists were to blame for prolonging World War I. In fact, that testimony was made not be a Senator but by an Arabist professor, Edward B. Reed, and his statement at the time was denounced by American Zionist leaders as reminiscent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which was one of Adolf HItler's favorite books and was a staple of Nazi propaganda, is a Czarist Russian forgery, first published in 1905, which claims to expose a Jewish plot to infiltrate governments and conquer the world. The Protocols was the subject of a major scholarly conference at Boston University on October 30-31, 2005.
Conference organizer Prof. Steven T. Katz, who is director of the university's Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University and a member of the Wyman Institute's Academic Council, issued the following statement regarding the Washington Report's article:
"One hundred years after the publication of the forged document known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which alleged that Jews were trying to take over governments and rule the world, the Washington Report has echoed that vicious slur by portraying Henry Morgenthau as a sinister secret agent of Zionism and saboteur of America and President Wilson."
The Wyman Institute also issued the following statement by Henry Morgenthau III:
"The allegation that my grandfather was disloyal to America or to President Wilson is an outrageous falsehood. The claim that he was 'loyal to Zionism' is simply laughable, since Ambassador Morgenthau was well-known for his opposition to Zionism. But what the Washington Report has published goes far beyond slandering my grandfather; the notion that he helped prolong World War One for the sake of Jewish interests raises the vile 'dual loyalty' specter, by suggesting that Jews in government service must be suspected of secretly harboring foreign loyalties."
(In Henry Morgenthau III's book Mostly Morgenthaus, a family history, he devotes a full chapter to the so-called "secret mission," Ambassador Morgenthau's attempt to start negotiations for Turkish withdrawal from World War I.)
BACKGROUND ON THE WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs often publishes articles comparing Israel to the Nazis and alleging inappropriate Jewish influence on Congress or the media. It also opposes U.S. government support of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and in 1998 printed an article claiming there is new evidence that "would cut in half the Zionists' original claim that six million Jews had died under the Nazi regime." U.S. Congressman Steven Rothman (D-NJ) has described the Washington Report as "extremely anti-Semitic" and urged his congressional colleagues to boycott it.
Yet the magazine maintains a veneer of credibility because of the prominent positions previously held by some of its sponsors. The Washington Report's publisher is Andrew J. Killgore, the U.S. ambassador to Qatar during the Carter administration, and its executive editor is Richard H. Curtiss, former chief inspector for the U.S. Information Agency. The magazine is published by the American Educational Trust, which enjoys nonprofit status. Its directors have included a number of former diplomats, a former Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, and former Members of Congress.
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