Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oxford Union: David Irving a champion of free speech? Hardly.

According to the BBC, the Independent has described David Irving as an The Independent describes him as "An inconvenient champion of free speech".

Nothing could be further from the truth. He sued me for libel to silence me. He threatened to do the same to Gitta Sereny and to John Lukacs. In fact, Lukacs had to eliminate some of most severe criticism of Irving from his book in order to get it published in the UK.

But, as I have repeatedly predicted in this blog and in other places, laws outlawing Holocaust denial turn the person against whom they are directed into martyrs.

David Irving is neither a martyr -- he chose to go to Austria even though he knew there was a warrant for his arrest -- nor a champion of free speech. To describe as such is to engage in self-delusion of the first order.

11 comments:

AcidDrip said...

Surely, those who try to shut David Irving or Abu Hamza down MAKE or CREATE him as a Free Speech martyr. Free speech means the freedom to offend..whatever the consequences.. in fact we may be killed for it as Theo Van Gogh was, but that doesnt make what we stand for wrong or does it?

FAIIRPLAY said...

The other side of the coin is 'free speech' allows the fools, hypocrites, liars, rogues and falsifiers of history to expose themselves to the public if unknown, or to be made a laughing stocks of by others. I assume whilst in jail in Austria, Irv spent the time writing the obligatory 700 pages of twaddle to be called "In the Absense of Struggle" , Fairplay.

hockey hound said...

Van Gough died because he spoke against the religion of Islam. His ascension to the rank of martyr for the concept of free speech was inadvertent. David Irving was publicly exposed in a British law court as a shameless anti-Jewish bigot and quack historian. This does not qualify him as a martyr.

Martyr is become a very subjective term in this age of Islamic terrorism.

You say Abu Hamza is a martyr? I say he is a religiously motivated, homocidal maniac. You say David Irving is a martyr? I say he's an asshole. You say Van Gough is a martyr? I agree, and he's a real champion of the Western concept of free speech, something the corrupted and vitiated intellects of David Irving and Abu Hamza prevents them from ever becoming. As Blaise Pascal pointed out, perspective is everything.

"Cultivated people foster what is good in others, not what is bad. Petty people do the opposite." -Confucius

hockey hound said...

"I assume whilst in jail in Austria, Irv spent the time writing the obligatory 700 pages of twaddle to be called "In the Absense of Struggle"

LOLOLOLOL!! Good one, Fairplay. LOLOLOLOL!!

hockey hound said...

Good morning, my dear Prof. Lipstadt. May you have the happiest day ever!!

I was thinking of you when I was at the Finkelstein protest in Toronto. There were some elderly Jews there participating in the protest, probably Holocaust survivors, and it very nearly made me cry to see them there. They see the danger in the air; they see this danger issuing forth from Islam while so many of us cannot see it. And then to see the pro-Palestinian Muslim students shouting at these victims of Nazism. It makes me angry, very angry. These Jews deserve this? Who knows, these survivors might have been standing in the other line and watched their wives and children who were "selected" directed to the gas chambers.

I will never forget, Prof. Lipstadt. And I am not ashamed to say that I love them with my entire being. I will never forget.

You don't have to post this message. I just wanted to say this to you.

Oberststuhlherr said...

"David Irving is neither a martyr -- he chose to go to Austria even though he knew there was a warrant for his arrest -- nor a champion of free speech. To describe as such is to engage in self-delusion of the first order."

According to the legend of Jesus of Nazareth, he could have avoided crucifixion by staying out of Jerusalem. According to Plato's account of the trial of Socrates, Socrates could have avoided his fate by leaving Athens. The fact that Irving defied a ban on entering Austria is wholly immaterial to the question of whether he is a martyr. That fact that the ban was placed on him in the first place speaks in favor of characterizing him as a martyr. The fact that he was tried and convicted for utterances reflecting his True beliefs practically defines him as a martyr for free speech.

I assess this based on the traditional American values inherited from my ancestors, so my reasoning my be foreign to you. Nonetheless, that is my assessment of your claim.

hockey hound said...

"That fact that the ban was placed on him in the first place speaks in favor of characterizing him as a martyr."

The ban on David Irving speaks only of Austria's national shame for having been home to so many ardent disciples and supporters of Adolf Hitler's anti-Jewish hatred. It speaks of nothing else. It would seem that Austria, in placing the ban on him, is cognizant of the fact that fools like David Irving live in earnest, likewise the bigots and sciolists who afford him any sort of respect. "A fool is known by a mulitude of words."

"traditional American values inherited from my ancestors"

I do not know of any "traditional American values" that coincide with even one of David Irving's "True beliefs." It is obvious you did not inherit the same traditional American values that commanded the national conscience of so many brave American men and women to put down and crush those Nazi beasts who lived out "True beliefs" similar to those of David Irving.

As I put forth in another post, David Irving is not a martyr: he is become a pariah and an outcast as a consequence of his deliberate and wilful distortion of the history of Nazi Germany's attempted genocide of the Jewish people, commonly referred to as the Holocaust.

"so my reasoning may be foreign to you."

Oh, yeah. Big time. As are the "traditional values" (which are not American in the least) you "inherited" from your "ancestors". Such values are not indicative of good breeding (or table manners).

Catchy blog name you got there. Is that something you also inherited from your ancestors?

FAIIRPLAY said...

Re the post from Oberststuhlherr:

Reading this persons post [above] I think we can agree his problems commenced when some well meaning Sunday school teacher type told him "the Jews betrayed Jesus and demanded his execution". by doing so they created another John Hinckney, another Columbine School sniper, and in his case a revisionist. I class then all the same. Out of curiosity I clicked on his name Oberststuhlherr [a wwwlink] and ended up on an Revisionist site. It appears to me that this poster Oberststuhlherr; is none other than Bradley R Smith who writes as follows:

Headline: [The] True Stories of a Holocaust Revisionist. Sub headline: The Irrational Vocabulary of the American Professorial Class with Regard to the Holocaust Question. And who goes on to say / write>: Talk delivered at Tehran Holocaust Conference, December 11, 2006. [Excepts]: It cannot be demonstrated that the German State had a policy to exterminate the Jews of Europe, or anyone else, by putting them to death in gas chambers or by killing them through abuse or neglect. It cannot be demonstrated that 6 million Jews were “exterminated” during WWII. It cannot be demonstrated that homicidal gas chambers existed in any camp in Europe which was under German control. It cannot be demonstrated that the awful scenes of the dead and emaciated inmates captured on newsreel footage at Dachau, Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen—were the victims of intentional killing and intentional starvation. He adds " From the mid-1980s until the early 90s I headed a program, sponsored by the Institute for Historical Review, that we called The Media Project. The Institute had become the international center for Holocaust revisionist scholarship."

[Say no more] Fairplay.

M. Ram said...

Good ol' libel tourism. Where rogues like David Irving, the McDonalds company, and Khalid bin Mahfouz can try to silence those that expose them. What is wrong with the UK's libel laws?

Rousseaux said...

Good evening:

If a "Holocaust denier" is wrong, then ignore him. If he is right, also ignore him, because the truth cannot be destroyed.

Recently I saw a jury foreman being interviewed on TV. She stated how a person was on trial for denying he owed an income tax. She said how what he said made sense to her and the rest of the jury, so they issued a "not guilty" verdict. The judge threw out the case.

You speak of your trial with David Irving. What if the judge ruled against David because of preconceived views he had re. the "deniers"?

The outcome of a trial for recent decades has shown the judge's bias for or against a defendant. And he gives orders to the jury how they are to return a verdict. If the jury is in disagreement about their orders from the judge, they have the right to return a verdict that is in disagreement with the judge's
"orders". Then a hung jury results.

Free speech carries its own rewards and punishments. We should allow it to play itself out, instead of having "Patriot Acts" passed to try to destroy our rights under the Constitution and Bill of rights.

Deborah Lipstadt said...

Rousseaux
it's good to know what you are talking about before you take such a strong stand. In my case, David Irving sued me. I did not try to deny his freedom of speech. In fact, I have repeatedly defended the right of these Holocaust deniers to speak despite the fact that they tell lies.

If you want to see the judge's verdict (there was no jury) go to www.hdot.org You will see it is based on historical data