Neal Sher   Letter 10   09-Feb-2001   Aren't animated images beneath you?
"Do you think it's possible that right there, next to his copy of the Constitution, sits a collector's edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?" Neal Sher
Both images below are "animated," they change over time, and they keep on changing.  If you do not see both images changing, and if your browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer, then it might help to click your way through TOOLS, INTERNET OPTIONS, ADVANCED, MULTIMEDIA, and then verify that PLAY ANIMATIONS has a check mark opposite it.
  February 9, 2001
Neal M. Sher
Schmeltzer, Aptaker & Shepard, P.C.
Suite 1000
The Watergate
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
USA         20037-1905

Neal Sher:

I have just read your two-part article on the Jewish World Review web site concerning the John Demjanjuk case:

  1. The first part, dated 22-Mar-1998, is titled "The Continuing Saga of Ivan Demjanjuk," and ends with the ill-considered words, "In the United States after the war, Demjanjuk worked in a factory and built cars for a living.  At Sobibor during the war, he killed Jews for a living.  Don't let anyone dare tell you he is a victim."

    Your personal sentiments that John Demjanjuk is guilty of crimes committed at Sobibor surprises me, as the only evidence for any crimes having been committed at Sobibor comes from a handful of witnesses crippled with one or more of the characteristics of hysteria, senility, and Soviet or Israeli coercion, and no evidence at all exists that John Demjanjuk participated in whatever dubious crimes such witnesses may conjure up.  Your motivation appears to be to justify your having ruined John Demjanjuk's life, and almost gotten him killed, by today continuing to assert that he must have been guilty of something, even if not of the thing that you originally charged him with.

  2. The second part, dated 05-Apr-1998, is titled "Judge Gilbert Merritt's Obsession With Jews," and ends with the equally ill-considered words, "I've never been to Judge Merritt's chambers.  Do you think it's possible that right there, next to his copy of the Constitution, sits a collector's edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?"

    Here, your applying to Judge Merritt the psychiatric diagnosis of anti-Semitism is only one notch more sophisticated than the juvenile taunt of "you're crazy," which debating tactic most of us acquired in kindergarten, and which many of us began to evolve beyond shortly after kindergarten.  You are guilty of suppressing exculpatory evidence, of depending on coerced testimony, of defrauding the court, and when a judge expresses indignation at your tactics, your best reply is to call him crazy.

Although there is a great deal in the verbal content of your two-part article that can be objected to, in my present letter I address myself primarily not to your words, but to the image that you have embedded into each of the two parts of your statement it is the animated image shown on the left below.

Following your example, I have constructed an analogous image, which I present on the right below.


The meaning conveyed by the left-hand image is that John Demjanjuk is guilty of war crimes at Sobibor, and that his profession of innocence lacks credibility.  However, this same accusation was in the early years considered by the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and by Israeli prosecutors, and rejected as less tenable than the accusation that John Demjanjuk was guilty of war crimes at Treblinka and yet John Demjanjuk ended up being acquitted of that latter charge, the stronger of the two.  And now you resurrect the weaker of the two charges, and offer it to your readers as an indisputable fact.

The meaning conveyed by the right-hand image, in turn, is twofold.  In the first place, the symbols of Communism, Nazism, and Zionism blending into each other conveys the equivalence of the three on fundamental characteristics such as a contempt for human life when it stands in the way of self-aggrandizement, the corruption of justice by the staging of show trials, and the strangulation of the free flow of information.  Furthermore, your gazing with seeming pleasure at these blending symbols floating in the air before you conveys your support of Zionism and your reliance on Communist evidence in the show trials which you helped stage.  Although you profess to abhor Nazism, you nevertheless employ Nazi tactics in your work and in your propaganda dissemination, so that even your gazing with pleasure upon the swastika, when it presents itself before your eyes, has a parallel in your life.  In short, your smiling equally upon all three symbols conveys that you are so unprincipled as to sell yourself to whichever of the corresponding three ideologies offers the highest wage.  You have already demonstrated your disloyalty to the Jewish people by working tirelessly to incite them to hang an innocent man, which project was contrary to their interests, and served only your own short-term career advancement.

Thus, it seems to me that the right-hand image is more fitting or appropriate or valid than the left-hand one.  You will not agree with this, I expect, but your agreement is not necessary for the continuation of my argument.

My argument continues by pointing out that, fitting though I feel the right-hand image to be, without your precedent crying out for an effective reply, it would never have occurred to me to create it, and had anybody suggested that I create it, I would have refused.  You might notice that throughout the Ukrainian Archive web site, I have disagreed sharply with perhaps some thirty individuals over a period of three years (one of them being yourself) but have never once until now resorted to giving my disagreement graphic expression.  I do so now only upon the provocation of your having done it first.  The value of my doing it is to demonstrate by example, both to you and to your followers, that your graphic expression broached a new level of offensiveness an offensiveness which I think that you may be incapable of appreciating when it is directed against your opponents, but which perhaps you will begin to understand upon seeing it directed against yourself.

Mr Sher, you have held high positions of responsibility and trust, for example as head of the OSI and of AIPAC, and more recently as adviser to the Canadian Department of Justice on the matter of Nazi war crimes prosecutions.  Because you have held these positions, people expect from you a higher standard of discourse than you display by parading that animated image of John Demjanjuk.  The public expects that you will make your points using logical argument and convincing evidence, not by provocative and inflammatory graphics.  It has often been your professional duty to prosecute men in a court of law, and you should find it demeaning today to find yourself reduced to harassing a man by means of images which manipulate emotions while proving nothing.

Lubomyr Prytulak