Sanchez vs. Sanchez

Is James Sanchez really a 'minority' scholar laboring to advance Holocaust studies? Or is he an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier?

On Feb. 4, 2005, a loose-knit group that included neo-Nazi and Holocaust denial organizations organized a series of small demonstrations in cities across the country to protest the ongoing trial in Germany of Ernst Zundel, author of The Hitler We Loved and Why, for denying the Holocaust. Photographs taken at the rally in Seattle and posted by a neo-Nazi group show five Zundel supporters holding "Respect Human Rights" signs. One of them is a tall white man with a full white beard. He is James Joseph Sanchez, a widely published Seattle researcher and a man of many faces.

At different times to serve different purposes, Sanchez has adopted a variety of personas: quiet academic; raging anti-Semite; struggling "minority business owner"; proud "majority-American"; esteemed Holocaust researcher and generous donor of his work to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; and neo-Nazi sympathizer whose work is championed by leading Holocaust deniers like Zundel.

A prolific and intelligent writer with a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern history, Sanchez has published numerous annotated bibliographies on subjects ranging from "sub-national economic regionalization in the Soviet Union" to "satellite-based education infrastructure in Alaska." The U.S. Air Force recommends his book, Al Qaeda and Jihadi Movements Worldwide, to war college students. He makes a living selling research materials from home as well as maintaining an online database of abstracted articles on Pacific Rim industries.

Other than his highly visible position alongside left-wing linguist Noam Chomsky on the editorial board of the Palestine Chronicle, a Seattle-based magazine that "seeks to expose the influence of the strong Jewish American lobby upon our government, media, and institutions," Sanchez presents himself as nothing more or less than a respectable, if somewhat snooty, mainstream scholar.

Beneath The Mask

But from time to time and ever so slightly, he lets his mask slip. Four months after taking part in the pro-Zundel demonstration last year, Sanchez attended David Duke's white supremacist conference in New Orleans in the company of several members of the Seattle unit of the neo-Nazi organization National Alliance. When questioned by the Intelligence Report about his participation in the neo-Nazi street protest and his attendance at Duke's European-American Unity & Rights Organization (EURO) event, he flatly refused to answer. "Frankly, you do not have the standing to demand that I respond to your questions," he said. "And you have no standing to make accusations against me."

Sanchez seemed assured of his own standing when he accused the Jewish beneficiaries of reparations for Holocaust victims of extortion and fraud in a 2001 essay for the Media Monitors Network Web site. "The formula for reparations to phony Jewish victims proves this money is taken from people with no provable responsibility, for improvable acts of dubious historicity, to be paid in the name of 'victims' who are infallible," he wrote.

His 2001 essay, "Transmuting History Into Gold," marked the closest Sanchez has come to publicly denying the Holocaust. When offered the opportunity to clarify precisely what he means by "dubious historicity" in this article, Sanchez declined comment. Whatever he meant, one thing is clear: leading Holocaust deniers consider him a compatriot. "Sanchez is on our side, and lives and breathes our cause," Carlos Whitlock Porter, who calls the Holocaust "a universe of lies," wrote in 2005. Zundel himself in May 2001 urged followers to read an article that, according to Zundel, Sanchez had posted to the Web site of the Committee for the Open Debate on the Holocaust, a denial site run by Bradley R. Smith. The article ridiculed the outrage of Jewish leaders over Asian businesses using Holocaust imagery in advertising. "Every once in a while, Dr. Sanchez publishes some gem that makes us look at the Old Holocaust through yet another prism," Zundel said.

Not all extremists share Zundel's enthusiasm. In August 2002, Sanchez E-mailed subscribers to his news-summary service a link to a CNN story about the manager of a "housewife next door" pornography Web site who hijacked a Web site used by Islamic terrorists. Sanchez added this cover note: "Jewish pornographer, who started out pimping his wife, is presented as the truest of patriots by CNN." That caused Glenn Spencer, leader of the anti-immigration hate group American Patrol, to abruptly tell Sanchez to cancel his subscription.

Sanchez wrote back, "I think you should protest to CNN, not me. CNN describes, as you can see on the story cited, this twisted pimp as 'living the American dream.' There is a difference between Jewish ideals and Majority-American ideals and this difference cannot be ignored by anyone, like you, who works to preserve American identity from immigration."

"As I said, please remove me from your list," Spencer replied.

Sanchez shot back one last E-mail. "Done," he wrote. "But I observe that you cannot defend your allegiances in honest debate. Poor you. Have you considered a name change to 'Jewish Patrol'?"