Saturday, December 1, 2007

Churchill speaks on--
"Zionism, Manifest Destiny and Nazi Lebensraumpolitik: Three Variations on a Common Theme"

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Former University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill spoke to a full house at 123 Sciences Lecture Hall on Tuesday night.

"Ward Churchill connects Nazism, Zionism in visit to UC Davis:

"Churchill, several audience members erupt into heated arguments"

CALIFORNIA AGGIE (University of California at Davis)

Issue date: 11/29/07

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Over 500 members of the Davis community packed into 123 Sciences Lecture Hall on Tuesday night to listen to former University of Colorado ethnic studies professor and controversial American Indian activist Ward Churchill. Churchill's appearance was sponsored by the Students for Peace & Justice and co-sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Student Association and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan.

Churchill, who delivered a speech titled "Zionism, Manifest Destiny and Nazi Lebensraumpolitik: Three Variations on a Common Theme," attracted a crowd so large that the event was delayed an hour as Cal Aggie Hosts scrambled to facilitate a line of people wrapping around the lecture hall and courtyard.

Before the event commenced, approximately two dozen demonstrators from the Davis College Republicans and Aggies for Israel handed out literature and occasionally chanted slogans such as "We prefer Winston!" and "Churchill: Al-Qaeda approves!"

"If the Muslim Student Association shares [Churchill's] views, that should scare you. It scares us," said DCR chair Allison Daley, a junior political science major.While Churchill's question-and-answer session fostered a hostile and tense environment, his lecture progressed without interruption, save an occasional smattering of applause or murmur of unease.

Though Churchill made national headlines for his commentary about Sept. 11, he spent most of his lecture arguing that the United States' westward expansion in the 19th century and "extermination" of American Indians was akin to the ideology behind the Holocaust. "You find in the later pages of Mein Kampf an articulation of Hitler that comes from an analysis of empires," Churchill said.

"He's examining the other European powers for models that would be an applicable model of the German destiny. He points directly to what he calls the Nordics of North America. The United States is the model."

Churchill decried the treatment of American Indians, stating the Puritans were "boat people" who deprived them of their land. "No one was deceived that there was no habitation, no human population in North America," he said.

"[American Indians] were humans who were at best peripheral, at best a utility to those who were anointed superior … who were coming in to acquire that which was theirs."In the last 15 minutes of his hour-long lecture, Churchill shifted his emphasis to Israel, arguing that Zionists use the same justifications as did Hitler to perpetrate what he believes is a Palestinian genocide.

"How did it become the Palestinians who bore the onus of responsibility to compensate [the Jews] for what had been done to them by Northwest Europeans?" Churchill asked.Churchill said radical Zionists conspired with the Nazi regime in order to broker a deal for a Jewish homeland.

"You have active negotiations going on between more radical Zionist organizations, the fascist Italians and Nazis themselves," he said. "Zionists would collaborate with the Nazis in what would be arranged as guerrilla operations against the British war effort … in exchange for a certain guarantee that there would be a territory set aside in that area for Jews and Jews alone."

As Churchill concluded his lecture, approximately 10 audience members stood in a line to ask a question. Though Churchill said questions "should be limited to 3.5 seconds," most audience members ignored his request.

"As a proven academic fraud and imposter, what basis can you claim in coming to a public university, which is funded by the government, which from your speeches and writing you so clearly despise?" asked Pete Markevich, a junior political science major.

Markevich was referring to Churchill's dismissal by the CU Regents, who had conducted an investigation into claims that Churchill had falsified and fabricated research, lied about his American Indian heritage and plagiarized other authors. Churchill is currently suing CU, claiming he was fired in retaliation for an essay in which he wrote that the "little Eichmanns" in the World Trade Center - an allusion to convicted Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann - deserved to die.

Markevich attempted to explain his question further, but Churchill told him to "shut up."

"My answer is, far more than you," Churchill said. "By the way, you want to look at the famous university report? The university has completely withdrawn that from scholarly scrutiny. There is no case other than the 'little Eichmanns' thing."Markevich responded by asking Churchill to clarify his Sept. 11 remarks."Three young high school students were traveling on a plane to an award ceremony. Of course, they never made it," Markevich said. "They were murdered."

"By Bush and Cheney," someone shouted, to wild applause by some of the audience. Churchill smiled and shrugged, but did not comment."My question is, were those three students part of a cog in a capitalist machine and were they also 'little Eichmanns' who deserved to die as you claimed?" Markevich said."That was an amazingly stupid question," Churchill said. "If you have a reading comprehension above the eighth grade, which you should have, since you appear to be impersonating a student up there, then you'd understand that those three … could not be construed as the technocratic core of the empire, and that's who I described as little Eichmanns. That's disingenuous bullshit you just spit out."

Another unidentified audience member began to ask Churchill why he focused solely on perceived malfeasances by the United States and Israel, rather than Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia. When Churchill attempted to interrupt, the audience member said, to a smattering of applause and cheers, that "was probably why you got fired - you wouldn't let people disagree with you."

Tension heightened further when an audience member who identified himself as a University of California professor chastised Churchill.

"You came here propelling the thesis that Zionism, which most Jews consider to be the national movement of the Jewish people, is comparable to Nazis'," the professor said, citing Palestinian population figures."Yes, it is," Churchill responded.

"I think you failed in your thesis, and I'm in a position to give you a grade," the audience member responded. "What I want to know is where are the God-damned Jews of Poland and Romania and Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. And they were God-damned! Where are they? We know where the Palestinians are," the professor said."Do you? Do you, professor?" Churchill said.The debate between Churchill and the unidentified UC professor subsequently disintegrated into a shouting match, though less than half of the original crowd was still present to bear witness to it.

As the professor left the room, Churchill had one final comment for him."I'll be at Berkeley next week," Churchill said. "See you there."

PATRICK McCARTNEY can be reached at