Orlet seems to have forgotten -- or ignored because it was convenient to do so -- the fact that, when a lot of people were counseling me to ignore Irving, I answered his libel charge and fought him.
He also makes a point of identifying me as a Jew. What, may I ask, is the relevance of that?
Orlet links me with Noam Chomsky. Had he paid attention to my book Denying the Holocaust he would know that I spent quite a bit of space in the book attacking Chomsky for his active support of deniers in the name of free speech.
I have written the following letter to the editor regarding this piece.
To the Editor of the American Spectator:
I note that Mr. Orlet has decided that I am a Leftist [though, to quote Larry David/ Jerry Seinfeld, "there's nothing wrong with that"] because I have said that Austria should not keep Irving in jail.
The noise I hear right now is many of my friends laughing hysterically at his rather absurd conclusion.
But first my bone fides to comment on this issue: I spent over 6 years defending myself against David Irving and, in the course of so doing, proving that he nothing but a liar, racist, antisemite, and pathetic figure. Had Mr. Orlet bothered to educate himself about the trial [he could start by reading my recent book History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving or Richard Evans' Lying About Hitler], he would see that often during the ten week trial Irving was left looking like the court jester, silly and almost irrelevant.
When the battle was over the press treated him as some sort of has been. That is why I said the Austrian courts should not resurrect him as a so-called martyr for free speech. No one of any stature -- except maybe for John Keegan --- takes him seriously anymore.
In any case, while Orlet has every right to disagree with me -- and there are many people whose opinions I actually value who do think I am wrong about letting him go -- his glib conclusion that I am therefore of one political inclination or another shows his own shallow thinking.
In fact, to some degree his modus operandi reminds me of David Irving's. Irving has a conclusion and bends the facts [or simply invents them] to fit his pre-existing ideas. Orlet seems to have done the same thing. It is hardly a mark of honor.
Deborah E. Lipstadt, Ph.D.
P.S. Orlet groups me with Noam Chomsky. He might take a look at my earlier book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory in which I devote quite a bit of space to an attack on Noam Chomsky for his support of deniers in the name of free speech. I am no fan of Chomsky's about whom, I believe, the best that can be said -- and this is being generous -- is that he is one of God's fools.