Thursday, February 2, 2006

Arthur Butz, a leading denier, denies he is a denier and praises Ahmadinejad

Holocaust deniers hate being called deniers.

The like to call themselves “revisionists.” By so doing they seek to link themselves to legitimate schools of historical research. Revisionsits – the real ones – are people who question accepted historical ideas.

For example, those historians who questioned whether the Versailles Treaty was a good one, were called revisionists. They are trying to revise accepted historical norms. However much one might disagree with their conclusions, no one suggests that they are basing their argument on lies.

Deniers, in contrast, are not trying to revise. They are denying and, in order to make their case, building it on lies and fabrications.

With this as background, readers might be interested in Arthur Butz’s attempt to argue that he is not a denier. This is drawn from his interview with the Iranian news service, MNA.

The irony is that in his first point he says it all. I have highlighted that statement. [Butz is the professor of Electrical Egineering at Northwest University who wrote one of the first pseudo-scientific denial books.]

In 1976 I published a book entitled "The Hoax of the Twentieth Century", in which I argued:

1. The alleged slaughter of millions of Jews by the Germans, during World War II, did not happen.

2. The extermination allegation is properly termed a hoax, that is to say, a deliberately contrived falsehood. It was not at its source an honest misunderstanding or accidental falsehood.

3. The hoax had a Zionist provenance and motivation.

Butz goes on to congratulate Iranian President Ahmadinejad's for being the first head of state to speak out clearly on these issues, and regret only that it was not a Western head of state.

Note his first point. If that is not denial, I don't know what is.


Douglass said...

If your quote is on target, then Butz has openly denied the Holocaust. But there is more to this story than Butz's status as a denier. There is a real tragedy here. The acidic prattle of these holocaust deniers has stifled any debate about the magnitude and details of the Holocaust by evoking a fearful response from the Jewish community. I'm not an expert, but I know that the existence of professional liars like Hoffman, Irving and Butz have made my job as a student difficult. These Liars have politicized the issue, their lies force the reasonable instructor to become conditioned to the point that they assume that questioning the "official" version of the holocaust out of inquisitiveness is equal to anti-Semitism. These Liars have won, they have forced us to change the way we view the world. They have forced us to become punitive, and in doing so they have created conditions that are conductive to anti-Semitism. They can say, look! Dave Irving crossed the Zionists, now he's in Jail! When was the last time somebody was jailed for defaming Hitler? The great victory of these deniers was blurring the line between denial and real historical research. Where is the line between questioning the role of political and economic factors in the officially reported version of the holocaust and a pseudo-academic defamation of the Jewish people? I don't see it. Do you?

The Prophet said...

During your fight with David Irving, Emory University seemed to be rather cheap in its assistance with you. I am surprised that they did not underwrite your defense; their 30K or so contribution seems measly. As you know, Emory has a long tradition of antisemitism - for example, Emory admitted Jewish students on a quota system until I.T. Cohen, an Atlanta lawyer, donated $2m. on the condition that they eliminate their Jewish quota. Does Emory remain an antisemitic institution?

Deborah Lipstadt said...

To "the Prophet": You are really off base. Emory has no obligation to cover the legal costs of its professors. So the fact that it gave me 30K was already noteworthy. Then it put me on a half time teaching schedule, which allowed me to travel to London regularly to meet with my lawyers. Then it paid my full salary while I was on trial. Then it hired someone to teach my courses. It did everything I asked... and more.

It has one of the strongest Jewish Studies programs in the United States [over 14 people teach Jewish Studies]. It has a Institute for the Study of Modern Israel. It has a summer program on the history of the Sephardim and a program in Israel. It has an active Hillel.

Emory an antisemitic institution? Hardly....