Monday, December 31, 2007

"Holocaust denial on the increase in 2007": David Wyman Institute

According to the David Wyman Institute, Holoaust denial increased markedly in 2007. In its report it links this directly to the release of David Irving from jail. I have not yet read the actual report only an article in the Jerusalem Post so I can't comment in any depth.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ron Paul wins the support of Holocaust denier, Hutton Gibson

[Edited 11:35 a.m.]

Prominently featured on a support Ron Paul site is a ringing endorsement from Hutton Gibson, the avowed Holocaust denier whose son, Mel, has tried to whitewash his father's denial.

Ron Paul cannot control who supports him but he can disavow their support. Why won't he do that? And more importantly, why are all these folks so enamored of him?

[Thanks to David Gorski for bringing this factoid to my attention.]

[Note: It has just been pointed out to me that this is NOT an official Ron Paul site but a site disguised to look like one. We don't know who posted this because the owner of the site is hiding behind Thanks Michael P. Stein for pointing this out.]

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ron Paul and his neo-Nazi supporters

Since my previous post I have been hearing an increasing buzz about Ron Paul. [Maybe I am just listening for it now...]

People -- including a number of people who describe themselves as liberals -- who are looking for an independent candidate seem to be intrigued by him. My observation is, of course, highly UNscientific. But the amount of money Paul has collected on the Internet is not.

This has prompted me to poke around and look at Paul more closely. Given my previous post on Paul, I was expecting to find some shady characters supporting him.

But I must admit to being shocked -- and I don't shock easily -- at the way in which a strange conglomerate of White supremacists, neo-Nazis, 9/11 conspiracists, etc. have embraced him.

Take a look at this site. If you scroll down you will see lots of photos of these folks with Ron Paul including one with Don Black and his son. Don Black, according to Little Green Footballs, is the owner of the neo-Nazi Stormfront site.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul and the neo-Nazis

The Internet has been buzzing the past few days -- if not more so -- with charges that there are connections between Ron Paul and a hodgepodge of neo-Nazis, White supremacists, Holocaust deniers, 9/11 conspiracy theorists and the like. Some of them have blogged about their supposed meetings.

The charges and counter charges -- which are enough to make your head swim -- first surfaced in mid-November. They have resurfaced again.

One thing, however, seems pretty certain: Paul's adamant refusal to decline their support, denounce their views, or return the funds they have given him.

And this man raised $6m in one day last week on the Internet.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Libel Tourism: N.Y. Court rules in Ehrenfeld case: It won't hear the case.. now.

The N.Y. Appeals Court has ruled in the Ehrenfeld case. There are many disturbing aspects to this case, as my colleague Michael Broyde and I wrote in our New York Times oped.

[Some background: In her book Ehrenfeld charged Saudi billionaire Mahfouz with funding terrorism. She did not publish the book in the UK. Nonetheless, Mahfouz's lawyers bought the book over Amazon UK and then went to the UK court and sued her for libel. The case coined the term "Libel Tourism." She did not contest the Saudi billionaire's charges against her and therefore lost by default. ]

She tried to counter sue Mahfouz in the United States. She argued that, the fact that Mahfouz might try to collect what he won in the UK judgment against her, gave the N.Y. court jurisdiction and it should prevent that from happening.

The N.Y. Appeals Court ruled that New York courts have no jurisdiction to hear her counter suit because he has not yet tried to collect the funds awarded him by the UK court.

Ehrenfeld's lawyers had argued that just the threat that Mahfouz would try to collect the money gave American courts jurisdiction.

What the N.Y. court said was that she can't sue now. The court seems to be saying that, should, however, Mahfouz come banging on her door to collect the money, she can then go to the N.Y. court and ask them to hear the case.

Since the ruling was announced yesterday I have received a number of despondent emails. They have expressed the sentiment that this is an awful defeat for Ehrenfeld, as well as all others who would expose Saudi funding of terrorism and try to expose extremism.

I too wish the ruling had gone otherwise but lawyers had warned me that the court would probably rule this way.

Part of the problem is that Ehrenfeld, by choosing not to contest Mahfouz's assault on her in the UK court, has a judgment against her.

I am convinced -- I may be wrong -- that Mahfouz won't come after Ehrenfeld for the money. To do so he might look like a vicious man trying to strip an American researcher and writer of her livelihood. Moreover, if she then goes to the American courts and counter sues, he might lose.

However, if he leaves things as they are now it is a win/win for him.
* He won by default in the UK court
* He has a judgment against Ehrenfeld [even though she never published in the UK]
* He leaves her hanging, not knowing if he is coming to collect "his" money while he avoids looking like an ogre.
* Above all, he avoids the risk that she will counter sue and win in an American court.

I know that Ehrenfeld did not contest these charges in the UK on principle. [It is absurd that a book that was not published in the UK can be the cause of a libel suit there.] However, because of the nature of UK libel laws, it let Mahfouz have his win [even if by default]

This made him the winner. And that is how he will probably choose to remain.

Fred Töben, Australian Holocaust Denier, tries to post on this blog

I feel no need to post on this blog comments sent to me by deniers. I long ago determined that this blog would not be a place for deniers -- through the subterfuge of supposed comments -- to wage their battles against historical accuracy.

Today I received a comment from Fred Töben, the noted Australian Holocaust denier.

[Töben, on right, with Ahmadinejad at Iran conference. Note David Duke over Ahmadinejad's shoulder]

I am posting it here because it demonstrates how deniers have turned on David Irving, even though for all intents and purposes, he continues to deny.

Deniers seem to be eating their young... and their old.

Toben's comment was prompted by my post "David Irving goes to Spain and to the BBC...":

David Irving has always believed in limited gassings and hence he is a Holocaust believer. I refuse to believe, without physical proof, in the systematic extermination of six million European Jews in homicidal gas chambers.

The Holocaust believers have never proven their case but instead use legal means to silence those who refuse to believe in the Jewish Holocaust Shoah.

Fredrick Töben
Adelaide Institute

Thursday, December 20, 2007

David Irving goes to Spain and to the BBC...

This week's Jewish Chronicle reports that Irving went to Spain and gave a denial speech.

There is nothing noteworthy about this article except that he was supposed to appear on a BBC World programme. What are the people at the BBC thinking or NOT thinking??? [See the section highlighted below.]

Spanish police study Irving speech
*By Bernard Josephs and Dana Gloger*
Spanish police were this week examining a recording of a speech by revisionist historian David Irving, condemned by a British High Court judge as a Holocaust denier, after the Jewish community failed to have him banned from speaking in Barcelona.

Under Spanish law, justifying genocide or inciting racism and xenophobia can carry a sentence of up to three years. Police were authorised by a judge to examine Irving’s words to see if he had broken the law in his speech at a bookshop last Saturday.

According to agency reports, he told his audience of about 20 that there was no proof that Hitler was aware of the Holocaust. But, he said, there was no doubt that the Nazis killed “two or three million” Jews.

During his speech, about 100 people protested outside the bookshop which was guarded by police.

Dahliah Levinsohn, secretary of the Federation of Jewish communities in Spain, said: “The Federation asked the High Court to cancel Irving’s talk, as we thought there could be acts of incitement to racism and antisemitism.

“Although it [the court] did not cancel the conference, Catalan police were present and the court issued them with an official order to enter and record the talk.

“He [Irving] was very careful not to negate the Holocaust, precisely because the Catalan police were there. Now the police will analyse the talk and see if something comes up.” In 2006 Irving was sentenced by an Austrian court to three years in prison for Holocaust denial but was released after serving one-third of his sentence.

He was due this week is to take part in a BBC World Service programme.
He was to be among “eight gagged individuals — people banned from speaking because of their beliefs or work”, said a BBC spokesperson.

Irving has threatened to sue the /JC/ if it calls him an “active Holocaust denier”.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Benjamin Franklin on the Jews: Classic [and highly mythical] antisemitism from a Syrian cleric:

[Links corrected 12/18/07]
According to MEMRI, Syrian Cleric Muhammad Sa'id Ramadhan Al-Bouti said on Al Jazeera that Benjamin Franklin had called upon Americans to Deport Jews from the U.S.

Simply put: this is completely false. No proof of this statement has been found in anything Franklin said. In addition, it contains language that was not used in Franklin's times, e.g. homeland. Moreover, the statement never surfaced before the 1930s. And it comes from a book which no one has ever seen.

If you need more evidence that this a hoax and an antisemitic canard, the ADL has done a good analysis of the history of this fraudulent claim. Significantly, this ADL piece quotes a number of leading Franklin scholars who debunk this nasty effort

Now we have to ask how this cleric got this information? It only surfaces on antisemitic and White Supremacist websites. I guess we know where he and his cohort are rummaging.

His use of this really gives one hope.....

Testimony from a Sonderkommando who worked in gas chambers in Auschwitz

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Using History on Trial to connect Holocaust denial and 9/11 conspiracy theorists

A website devoted to debunking 9/11 conspiracies addresses the connections between such conspiracy theorists and my own work on Holocaust deniers, particularly as addressed in my book, History on Trial.

History on Trial: Reflections on my book from Germany

There are some interesting comments on my work, the trial, and on History on Trial at

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An unrepentant Nazi freely cavorts in Spain and elsewhere: Why is no one charging him?

Instead of spending time on Holocaust deniers, here is someone who European governments should pursue with vigor.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Irving v. Lipstadt: The Saga Continues

This week's Jewish Chronicle contains a story about David Irving's claims that he is planning to serve me with legal papers when I was in London last week.

On his website he has suggested in the past that I sneak into London to avoid him. Given that my speeches have been well publicized -- enough for 900 people to attend -- this is clearly an imaginary claim. No surprise here.

David Irving v Deborah Lipstadt, Part 2
By By Dana Gloger
HOLOCAUST-denier David Irving claims he is preparing to serve court papers on the American historian he unsuccessfully sued for libel in London’s High Court eight years ago.

This week, the JC learned that the discredited historian, who last year served part of a three-year sentence in an Austrian jail for breaching the country’s Holocaust-denial laws, emailed Deborah Lipstadt informing her he intended to institute unspecified court proceedings against her.

He told the JC that this could only be done while she was within the jurisdiction of the High Court.

When Irving found out that Prof Lipstadt would be in the UK for a series of talks, he got in touch with her.

In an email dated November 30, which the JC has seen, Irving, 69, wrote: “Please inform me whether you will be available for service of court proceedings, and make a suitable appointment for this purpose; please also confirm that you will take no steps to prevent court officers from approaching you, and cause no steps to be taken to prevent court officers from approaching you on this occasion.”

In his 2000 libel case, Irving was branded an antisemite by a judge after bringing the suit against Prof Lipstadt for calling him a Holocaust denier.

He would not divulge why he was planning to bring his latest threatened action, but confirmed that they were not related to libel.

“There is something in the air, but I can’t tell you any more. For now it goes back on the shelf, until she is back in the jurisdiction of the British High Court and I can locate her.”

There were rumours on Tuesday night that Irving would try to gatecrash Prof Lipstadt’s talk at Finchley Synagogue. But he said he had not tried to go, as he knew he would not be allowed in.

He added: “[Ms Lipstadt] is no friend of mine. I have many Jewish friends but she is not one of them.”

Although Irving said that Prof Lipstadt had not responded to his email, when the JC spoke to her, she said her solicitors, Mishcon de Reya, had replied on her behalf.

It is understood that an email was sent confirming that anything served would be accepted. Ms Lipstadt said: “His email came as a little bit of a surprise, but he pulls these kinds of things.”

In October, Irving threatened to sue the JC for calling him an active Holocaust denier. He has not carried out this threat.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Apples over the Fence: A Holocaust story that beggars the imagination

There is a Holocaust story making the rounds on the Internet which is clearly not true. It's about an inmate of a camp [a sub-camp of Buchenwald] who connects with a young girl outside the camp. She throws him an apple everyday over the fence. He tells her one day in May 1945 that she should not throw any more apples because at 10 a.m. the next morning he has appointment to appear at the gas chamber to be killed. This story has so many shortcomings that one hardly knows where to begin.

Let me focus only on the most fundamental one: Buchenwald had no gas chambers. In May 1945 no one was still being gassed. Moreover, Jews were not told ahead of time that they were going to be gassed. The whole idea behind the gassing was surprise and deception.

[There is another version on the Internet that places the camp at Terezin/ Theresienstadt and the author says that they were told to report to a section of the camp the next morning at 10 a.m. and they knew this meant they were to be gassed. But there were no gas chambers in Terezin.]

If you get this email do NOT send it on to other people. Delete it.

Not only do we need to be historically accurate for the simple sake of history. But on top of that, this kind of stuff is fodder for deniers.

There are many amazing stories about the Holocaust. Just the fact that some people managed to survive this hell is amazing in and of itself. We don't need embellished and/or false stories. The truth is far more than enough.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What happens when rumors are really just lies?

The Washington Post's cartoonist Tom Toles has poked some barbed comments at his paper's treatment of some false rumors, i.e. lies, being spread about Obama.

Toles' cartoon was prompted by how the Post handled a story concerning the false reports afloat that Obama is secretly a Muslim who will take the oath of office on a Koran. Whatever you think of the inexperienced Senator from Illinois, this is completely untrue.

The Washington Post, in writing about it, presented "both sides of the issue" and discussed the rumors [aka lies] without explicitly stating that the story is just false. The Post's Lois Romano's defended the way in which the paper presented the story. Since this discussion has become so heated, Romano said, the Post's
editors decided it was in the readers interest to address it. I have heard people say that they won't support Sen. Obama because they read he doesn't put is hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. He has denied this -- so airing some of this and giving him a chance to deny its accuracy could be viewed as setting the record straight.
This is, as Salon's Glenn Greenwald observes, patently absurd. The Post should have called these rumors what they are: lies. To compound matters the Post gave the story the following headline:
Foes Use Obama's Muslim Ties to Fuel Rumors About Him
What the Post should have done, Greenwald notes, is what the New York Times did yesterday in a story on how Giuliani uses statistics about his supposedly stellar mayoral record.
All of these statements are incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong . . . .An examination of many of his statements by The New York Times, other news organizations and independent groups have turned up a variety of misstatements, virtually all of which cast Mr. Giuliani or his arguments in a better light.
Why am I blogging about this? Because of the decided parallel to how the media often handles claims by Holocaust deniers. Mercifully, this has been less the case with David Irving's contentions since he lost his attempt to sue me for libel. His claims about the Holocaust were exposed as lies and fabrications.

I wonder however if we will soon see the Washington Post presenting "both sides" of the Holocaust denial argument.

Presenting two sides is a good thing when there are two sides. But one "side" is a complete lie it should unequivocally be treated as such.

The Washington Post failed that test.

Teaching [or Not] the Holocaust in the UK

Esther Solomon, an editor at Ha'aretz, has written about an issue which I have been blogging about for months, the false rumor that the UK [or the University of Kentucky depending on the version of the email you received] has dropped teaching of the Holocaust.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Oxford Union; London Jewish Chronicle on debacle

Here is the London Jewish Chronicle's report. While there is not much new in it, the report stresses that the event has lead to closer relations between the Jewish and Muslim students at Oxford.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oxford Union: Media coverage and winners and losers

Here is a good description of and news report on the rally which preceded the debacle at the Oxford Union. Some other coverage includes Independent and the Guardian.

So who were the winners and losers in Monday night's debacle?

In fact, I don't think there were any winners, except possibly for Griffin who can now say that the invitation, in the words of the Independent, "breached an unwritten agreement observed for years by the mainstream political parties – not to give the far right a public platform."

I don't think Irving was a winner. He apparently looked pretty pathetic and will now be linked not just with the term Holocaust denier but also fascist. Hollywood likes to say, "I don't care what you say about me as long as you spell my name right." In this case, I don't think this was good PR for David Irving. He is, as I describe him in History on Trial, the Court Jester.

I don't think the Oxford Union was a winner. It engaged in a big publicity stunt. It displayed really muddled thinking [inviting the two not to discuss their views but then saying their views have to be exposed to be defeated] and it caused tremendous pain and anger.

I don't think the students who stormed the Union looked very good or were winners. They engaged in the kind of strong arm tactics which people should eschew. [I differentiate them from the thousands of students who quietly protested before the event, but then dispersed.]

This did not have to be. One student, Luke Tyrl, the man of the open mind, created a maelstrom, left a lot of people feeling vulnerable and hurt, and showed that you can be smart enough to win entry into Oxford and dumb enough to engage in some terribly stupid behavior.

I will be in the UK next week and hope to meet with some of the Oxford students involved in this matter. More on that next week... Until then I hope we have heard the end of this affair.

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.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oxford Union: An eyewitness account

For those anxious for a blow by blow account, click here

Oxford Union: My statement to pre-"debate" rally

At the request of the organizers , I wrote the following statement which was read to the pre-debate rally:
Why should the Oxford Union give one of its coveted places to a man such as this or a man such as Nick Griffin, who spews hatred and racial prejudice? I am firm believer in free speech. In my country the much maligned First Amendment gives everyone a chance to make a complete “arse” of themselves. However, the right to free speech does not mean that everyone is deserving of a platform at the Oxford Union. If the Union wanted to debate the issue of free speech and laws against expressions of Holocaust denial and racism, there are many good people with severely opposing views who could have been invited to do so. Inviting these two men smacks of a stunt which gives them what they most need to survive: publicity.

The President of the Union has claimed that they are not being invited to spout their views. What then is there for them to say? That they have been denied the right to speak? Griffin has a platform anytime he wants it and David Irving used and abused your courts as a platform to spew his distortions of history.

Some of those who have defended the Oxford Union have called for open minds. The problem with people with open minds is that sometimes their minds are so open their brains fall out. And that is the best that can be said of the organizers of this evening’s debate

Oxford Union: Mini-debates in place of one large show

Instead of one main debate, the Oxford Union conducted two mini-debates. Irving was in one room and Nick Griffin in the other. According to one student who was in the room with Irving, "it was a very balanced argument and both sides did really well. I'm pleased it went ahead."

Balanced??? My deepest fears have materialized.
Count that as a win for Irving....

Oxford Union: Debate delayed 1.5 hours but eventually takes place

The protestors who forced thier way into the Oxford Union managed to delay the "debate" until 10 p.m. when it finally began. No additional details are available right now.

Oxford Union: Lipstadt interview on BBC World Newshour

I did a BBC interview BBC World Service Newshour programme. Here's the link they provided. ( Go the box Watch/Listen and click on the Newshour/GMT 20:00

Oxford Union: INterview with students who dissent from Union's decision

Excellent interview with four students who are members of the OU but who oppose their appearance. Click on the upper right hand side of this page.

Oxford Union: Protestors force way into hall

According to the BBC about 30 protestors forced their way into the hall and are conducting a sit down strike at the debating table.

As I said in an earlier post, what a circus.

Oxford Union: Irving and Griffin to appear shortly

For my posts on the Oxford Union circus click here.

For my posts on the debate about making Holocaust denial illegal, click here.

Rwanda: A new form of genocide denial

REMINDER: Tomorrow night is the program on Rwanda genocide denial at Emory University:

"Beyond Hollywood's Rwanda: Truth and Justice, Security and Development"

Glenn Memorial Auditorium
1652 North Decatur Road
Emory University

Tuesday, Nov.27 6-8PM
Seating begins at 5:30.

Andrew Young
Former Ambassador to the UN and Mayor of Atlanta Chairman, GoodWorks International

James Kimonyo
Rwandan Ambassador to the U.S.

Deborah E. Lipstadt
Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies

Egide Karuranga
Virginia State University Professor
Genocide survivor at the Hotel des Miles Collines

Gregory S. Gordon
University of North Dakota Law Professor, Former legal officer for
International Criminal Court Tribunal for Rwanda

Jeffrey Richter
Senior Historian, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations

Sponsored by:
Rollins School of Public Health, Center for Health, Culture and Society GoodWorks International Young Democrats of Emory

Tickets available at the DUC and RSPH info desk.

Oxford Union: BBC debate

There was a debate on the BBC's Radio 4 about tonight's Oxford Union event. [Scroll down to the 7:30 slot.]

The MP speaking against the invitation kept stressing, correctly to my mind, this is not a matter of "right" to speak at the Oxford Union but of "privilege."

Oxford Union: More muddled thinking

I have been reading the British blogs on today's "debate" at the Oxford Union. Some people have argued that everything should be open to debate, i.e. that there are two sides -- however abhorrent -- to every issue.

This may be true if both sides are telling the truth. If one side makes things up, falsifies their facts, invents claims, and the like then you are not debating an "other" side, you are debating people who are engaging in fiction. [NOTE: I originally wrote non-fiction (it was too short a night) and have corrected it. My thanks to the readers who noticed.]

The only thing this entire matter proves is that some Oxford students do not know how to think logically.

Oxford Union: Controversy Growing

According to the Guardian the controversy over the appearance at the Oxford Union by David Irving and Nick Griffin is growing.

There probably will be an ugly scene there tonight when it takes place. Irving is blaming the Jews, whom he dubs the "traditional enemies" for the opposition. Truth be told, my guess is that he is LOVING every minute of it. The bigger the crowd through which he will have to push his way tonight, the happier he will be.

The shame should be directed at the Oxford Union. If they wanted a debate on Free Speech there are many acredited experts with various views on the topic they could have invited.....

They may be smart but they have trouble reasoning... or. as some folks would say. they are missing a measure of sechel [wisdom]

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Oxford Union: Muddled reasoning

The statement issued by Luke Tyrl, the president of the Oxford Union, is a clear example of really muddled thinking. He begins by arguing that Griffin and Irving are:
not being given a platform to extol their views, but are coming to talk about the limits of free speech.
If they are not being given a chance to expound on their views then why does Tyrl go on to say:
What is more, they will be speaking in the context of a forum in which there will be other speakers to challenge and attack their views in a head to head manner.

Obviously he expects them to use the opportunity to expound on their views. He then contends that "that pushing the views of these people underground achieves nothing." Mr. Tyrl seems not to understand that there is a vast difference between pushing views "underground" and simply not giving them a platform at the Oxford Union. Would he say that anyone with a controversial view who has not been privileged to speak at the Union has been driven "underground"? Clearly not.

Moreover he argues that the best way to deal with these people is "to crush these people in debate ." How does he propose "debating" someone such as David Irving who is a proven liar and falsifier of history?

He contends that "it's patronising to suggest that Oxford students aren't intelligent enough to debate with these people."

Challenging someone such as David Irving has little to do with intelligence, it has to do with knowing how he is lying and distorting the facts. And as smart as Oxford students may think they are, just because they are at Oxford does not mean they have the knowledge -- Mr. Tyrl does not seem to recognize the difference between intelligence and knowledge -- to catch a liar who distorts and falsifies.

It is simply hubris to assume that just because you are an Oxford student you automatically have the expertise to pinpoint his lies.

More distressing than the invitation itself is the confused reasoning -- if one can call it that -- of the president of the Union.

Oxford Union: Irving and Griffin to appear

Well it looks like it is official. The members of the Oxford Union, one of the most prestigious debating societies in the world, have voted to invite these two men to appear at the Union on Monday night.

The vote was 2-1 in favor.

The Union's president keeps justifying the invitation in that they were not invited to share their views but to speak about free speech. The president of the Union told the BBC that
"They will be speaking in the context of a forum in which there will be other speakers to challenge and attack their views in a head to head manner."
The fallacy is that on issues of free speech I doubt whether there will be any difference of opinion.

In some perverse fashion I would rather they had been invited to express their views and then, rather than to debate them, to have them properly demolished by the students.

Truth be told, neither of these men deserve this platform. Maybe the students who invited them will go study with the professors at Columbia who thought a coveted platform at that university should be extended to Holocaust and homosexuality denier Ahmadinejad....

Oxford Union: A perceptive observation by The Half-Blood Welshman

See The Half Blood Welshman's comments on the absurd invitation to David Irving, whom a BBC official has stupidly called a "controversial historian."

Someone should remind this BBC dolt that three different judicial entities in England called him or affirmed his being called a liar and a falsifier of history who misrepresents, misconstrues, omits, and perverts the available evidence. According to the judgment, he "treated the historical evidence in a manner which fell far short of the standard to be expected of a conscientious historian."

The Judge had many other less than complimentary things to say about him all of which would essentially disqualify him from being considered an historian.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hate crime statistics in the US

According to the FBI there were the following bias motivation crimes in the US during 2006:

Anti-Black 3,136
Anti-Jewish 1,027
Anti-White 1,008
Anti-Male Homosexual 881
Anti-Hispanic 770
Anti-Female Homosexual 192
Anti-Islamic 191

Oxford Union: Vote today on whether David Irving should appear

The Oxford Union members will be voting on whether David Irving should be allowed to speak.

The outcry against his appearing has been pretty widespread including 2000 people who apparently signed a petition. In addition, Defence Secretary Des Browne and Television presenter June Sarpong withdrew from participating at other events at the Union to express their opposition to the invitation to Irving and Griffin.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams condemned the invites in an exclusive Jewish News interview. The President of the Union, Luke Tyrl, told the online paper, the Jewish News:
“I decided to invite Griffin and Irving to take part in a free speech forum to show that we are not afraid of taking on their views. I find both individuals to be odious, their ideas awful and abhorrent."
Regarding the students who support Irving and Griffin coming he said: These are not people who are sympathetic to the far-right but students who believe in tackling extremism head on."

This is an example of really muddled thinking. No one at the Union seems to support either Irving's or Griffin's views.

By inviting them to a forum on free speech the students tied their own hands. They were presenting them as victims who have been silenced. More importantly, the students at the Union essentially support Irving and Griffin's right to express their opinions. Therefore the end result of the meeting would be a vote for them.

In the end probably neither will appear but they will have gotten more column inches in the press than many more newsworthy topics.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

CORRECTION: Rwanda Genocide Denial Panel

The panel at Emory on Rwanda genocide denial will be on NOVEMBER 27th, not January 27 as I mistakingly said in an earlier post

Dropping the Holocaust from textbooks: A Crazy Rumor Persists with a change of continent

[Blogging on the M60 bus in NYC]
edited November 21

A couple of months ago there was a rumor floating around about the UK [as in United Kingdom... you will see shortly why I mention the obvious] dropping the teaching of the Holocaust from its curriculum

It was completely false and was scotched by many people, including then Chancellor Gordon Brown.

Well, proving that nothing absurd ever disappears [hence the persistence of antisemitism], the rumor is back, except now it is about the University of Kentucky [UK, get it??].

And it comes with a completely absurd call for action. The newly added paragraph reads:
It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated while the German and Russian peoples looking the other way!

Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets. This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!

Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world. How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center 'never happened' because it offends some Muslim in the U.S.??????
These numbers make no sense and historically inaccurate. ["German and Russian peoples"? What's this about Russians looking the other way? Last time I checked Russian/Soviet citizens were among the largest number of victims of World War II, not the Holocaust.]

Then to make matters worse some person has added the following addendum:
Let's not forget the Demoncrat's in the House Defunding of the South Vietnamese in the 1970's leading to the slaughter of unknown millions (estimates 1.8 to 3.2 million) Vietnamese and Cambodians by Pol Pot's Camere [sic.] Rouge and Ho Chi Min's invasion of the South in a short 18 months to two years. That is more than the USA killed in over ten years while in country.
Even if Univ of Kentucky had dropped teaching of the Holocaust - WHICH IT HAS NOT -- what does the Democrats' action in 1970s have to do with it.

Some people have way too much time on their hands.

Review of HISTORY ON TRIAL in Journal of Genocide Research

Journal of Genocide Research, 9:3, pp. 485-87

History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving

Deborah Lipstadt
New York: Harper Collins, 2005
346 pp, $25.95 (hbk)

Reviewed by John Zimmerman

History on Trial is a personal memoir by the defendant in the London trial that garnered worldwide media attention and ended in disgrace for the plaintiff, David Irving. Lipstadt combines the best elements of personal narrative and history writing. Her book is a riveting human drama, as well as an excellent analysis of the historical issues raised at the trial.

The central figure at the trial was David Irving, who had written many books on World War II. Irving argued in Hitler’s War, published in 1977, that the Holocaust was carried out behind Hitler’s back by unruly subordinates. Eventually, he ended up denying the Holocaust altogether. In her 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust, Lipstadt identified Irving as a Holocaust denier who had distorted evidence for ideological reasons. This was obvious to anyone who had followed Irving over the years. Indeed, he would regularly appear at gatherings of Holocaust deniers.

At one of these gatherings, he announced that Hitler was “probably the biggest friend the Jews had in the Third Reich. He was the one doing everything he could to prevent nasty things happening to them” (p xviii). This would prove typical of Irving’s antics when addressing Holocaust issues.

Irving sued Lipstadt’s British publisher, Penguin, over the assertions she made about him in Denying the Holocaust (2004). He would have been unable to sue in a US court, but British libel laws are far looser, and more weighted toward the plaintiff, than those in the United States. The suit promised to be very expensive for Lipstadt’s publisher. She feared the publisher might settle on terms favourable to Irving. Her lawyer, Richard Rampton, one of Britain’s foremost barristers and perhaps the major hero of the trial, agreed to take the case pro bono if the publisher chose not to pursue a litigation defence. Nevertheless, Penguin did not back out, and the trial went forward.

It is important to emphasize that it was Lipstadt’s right to free speech that Irving was challenging. His lawsuit could have led to the publisher withdrawing the book in Britain. Characteristically, Irving portrayed himself as the victim. Moreover, as Lipstadt learned, Irving was threatening similar lawsuits against journalist Gitta Sereny and the publisher of historian John Lukacs, both of whom had exposed his flagrant misuse of sources.

The centrepiece of the book is the trial itself. Irving had always craved attention, and now he was at the heart of a major drama unfolding in a London courtroom. Indeed, he decided to represent himself. The end result is that he used a world stage to make a fool of himself.

Lipstadt recounts in detail the massive evidence presented at the trial, which showed quite conclusively that not only was Irving a Holocaust denier, but that he intentionally misused historical sources to present Hitler in a favourable light. In Hitler’s War, he claimed that a memo by SS chief Heinrich Himmler, which instructed that Jews were not to be liquidated, showed that Hitler was against killings. As it turned out, the actual memo referred only to a particular transport, and was issued before Himmler met with Hitler that day. But Irving failed to draw the logical conclusion: that Hitler must have known of the Holocaust, if he was aware that this one transport was not to be liquidated.

Irving was also asked about a document that showed 363,000 Jews murdered over a four-month period—a document marked “shown to the Fu¨hrer.” Irving’s response was typical: that if Hitler saw the document, he probably paid no attention to it, because he was busy with the war.

For Irving, no absurdity was too great. When asked to explain how residues of poison gas ended up in morgues that had been identified in Auschwitz as homicidal gas chambers, Irving answered that the room was used “for fumigating objects or cadavers” (p 131). The presiding judge asked him why a corpse would be gassed. Irving replied that it was necessary to kill the vermin that inhabited the corpse. Yet, these bodies would be incinerated in the crematoria ovens located in the same buildings as the morgue. Why fumigate a body about to be incinerated?

Misrepresentations are common when Irving writes about Nazis and Jews. He claimed that the German authorities attempted to stop the anti-Jewish riots known as Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass) in November 1938. Yet, when reviewing Irving’s own sources, the exact opposite proved to be the case. The actual orders stated that the anti-Jewish demonstrations should not be hindered.

Irving was also adept at fabricating figures. He multiplied by a factor of ten the number of German deaths that resulted from the Allied bombings of Dresden to show that Allied crimes equalled, if not exceeded, those of the Germans. One of his most egregious examples was the claim in his biography of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels that in 1932 German Jews were responsible for 31,000 cases of fraud, mainly from insurance. His source for this was an article in a Nazi propaganda publication. In fact, the real figure was 74 cases for all insurance fraud in 1932.

Irving claimed that his errors were not intentional. However, the presiding judge noted that all of his errors were in favour of Hitler, while none ran in the opposite direction. This suggested that the mistakes were hardly innocent.

The court’s verdict was that Irving was a Holocaust denier who had deliberately falsified the historical record to promote his ideological beliefs. Lipstadt concludes that “David Irving had been far less formidable than any of us imagined. His fanciful claims had crumpled under the simple weight of facts” (pp 298–299).

Yet, in a strange way, it was Irving, not Lipstadt, who made the best case for the Holocaust. Ironically, by revealing himself as a fraud in the global media spotlight, Irving has done more to discredit Holocaust denial than all the critical books written on the topic combined. In fact, in the conspiratorial world Irving inhabits, he could even be classified as an agent of the “traditional enemy” (i.e. Jews). For Irving, who so craves attention, this point is probably irrelevant. For at least some period, much world attention was focused on him.

His recent arrest and incarceration in Austria, for Holocaust denial, suggests that the verdict I passed on him in 2000 remains valid: “What can be said about Irving is that he knows a great deal but has learned nothing.”1

John C. Zimmerman
University of Nevada Las Vegas

Lipstadt, D. E. (2004). Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (London: Penguin).

1 John C. Zimmerman, Holocaust Denial: Demographics, Testimonies and Ideologies (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2000), p 172.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oxford Union: David Irving's invitation hanging by a thread

Today's Independent suggests that it is quite doubtful whether, when all the protests are said and done, Irving will still be welcome at the Oxford Union.

Oxford Union: David Irving invited to speak

Well, in a classic example of having minds so open your brains fall out, the Oxford Union, one of the most prestigious debating sites in the world, has invited David Irving to speak there.

Coupled with with Irving is the far-right British National Party Leader Nick Griffin had been invited to a forum on free speech. In response Britain's defense secretary and at least three lawmakers have cancelled appearances at the debating group.

Irving has the right to speak there. The question is why would the students invite someone who has tried to silence anyone who criticizes him, who has been shown to be a liar and falsifier of history, and who consistently plays with the facts, bending them until they fit his needs.

Given that the topic is free speech, I hope someone asks Irving about his attempt to curtail my free speech with his lawsuit against me. Remember, he offered to settle if I agreed that all copies of my book should be pulped.

While over a 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for Prime Minister Gordon Brown to condemn the invitations to Irving and Griffin, I hope Gordon Brown does not do this. David Irving is simply not important enough -- or at all -- to warrant a statement by the Prime Minister of England.

In fact, a statement by the PM will make Irving's day.

Egyptian cleric preaches antisemitism to children

If this is what Egyptian children are watching on television than those who look forward to a day of peace are really "dreamers."

Watch the whole 2+ minutes of it. The last lines are the real shockers.

I get lots of "Islam is despicable" emails which I discard in disgust. I have always hated and continue to hate condemnation of an entire people or faith. However, watching enough of this kind of stuff truly tries one's spirit.

Rwanda: A new form of genocide denial

Corrected on November 20th:

On November 27th there will be a panel at Emory University regarding Rwanda genocide denial. These deniers cannot, of course, deny that the killings took place but they try to depict them as the "normal" course of business in Rwanda.

The mantra of these deniers is: Tutsis have been killing Hutus for years. This was an example of the Hutus striking back.

Other than simply being incorrect, this mantra essentially blames the victims for their own brutal deaths. What will surprise most readers of this blog -- it certainly surprised me -- is that one of the people who has been most active in spreading this form of denial is Paul Rusesabagina.

If his name does not ring a bell, think Hotel Rwanda. He is the central character. He is speaking on college campuses, including Emory and serious scholars in many fields are deeply worried. At Emory these scholars include people who worked in Rwanda for years prior to the genocide and who witnessed the horrors up close.

This is not simply a matter of historical revisionism but also an attempt to destabilize the current government of Rwanda which has, apparently, made tremendous strides in creating stability and reinvigorating the economy.

On November 27th there will be a high powered panel to address this issue:
Beyond Hollywood’s Rwanda: Truth and Justice, Security and Development

Location: Glenn Memorial Auditorium, Emory University
Time: Tuesday, Nov. 27 6-8 PM

Andrew Young Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN and Mayor of Atlanta, Chairman, Goodworks Intl

James Kimonyo Rwandan Ambassador to the U.S.

Deborah E. Lipstadt Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies

Egide Karuranga Virginia State University Professor, Genocide survivor at the Hotel des
Miles Collines

Gregory S. Gordon University of North Dakota Law Professor, Former legal Officer for International Criminal Court Tribunal for Rwanda

Jeffrey Richter Senior Historian, US Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations

Limited Seating. Free Tickets available at DUC information desk, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory School of Law, and other Atlanta locations.

Details at

Ticketing Information:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Giving Ann Coulter her due.. with a song and a smile

Many of you, I am sure, were appalled by Ann Coulter's performance on Donny Deutsch's show. She was flippant about Judaism, Deutsch's religious commitment, and her hair... Actually she just flipped her hair around as is her wont.

It's one thing to hear this argument [that Christians are perfected Jews], known in theological circles as supersessionism [Christianity has superseded Judaism] or replacement theology, from theologians. In fact, many Christian theologians no longer make it because they see what it lead to: pogroms, Crusades, and, ultimately, the Holocaust.

But to hear it from this political commentator, a woman who loves to beat up on underdogs and spews contempt as she does so [remember her faggot episode?], was a bit too much.

She may even have realized she went overboard because she asked Deutsch to give her a moment to explain herself after the first segment. If you look closely you will almost see her sweat.

When Deutsch asked: "Should we throw Judaism away?" She said: "Yes."

Now a group called Barely Political has taken her on in song.

They prove that humor is the best medicine and the best weapon and they wield both very very well.

Bravi, Bravi, Bravi.

Armenian University gives award to Ahmadinejad: A double standard???

Seems that Yerevan University [Yerevan is the capital of Armenia] has given a gold medal and an honorary doctorate to Iran's Ahmadinejad.

Armenian Americans have condemned the university for this action because of Ahmadinejad's record of Holocaust denial. This is the correct stance for them to take.

An Armenian run Web site, No Place For Denial, continues to accuse the ADL of genocide denial, alleging that its statements on the subject have been ambiguous, a charge the ADL denies. The continuing momentum has led several communities in the Boston area to end their partnerships with a highly regarded anti-bigotry program sponsored by the ADL.

Here's what perplexes me. Dikran Kaligian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America's Eastern Region, and Sevag Arzoumanian, "No Place for Denial" have told the JTA that,

while they disagree with the notion of giving Ahmadinejad an award, agree that it was appropriate for Ahmadinejad to be invited to Armenia, a landlocked country that depends on good relations with its neighbors for trade and energy.

This, they seem to be saying, is a matter of realpolitik.

Why then don't they understand when Jews worry about the fate of the Turkish Jewish community or Turkey's relations with Israel? That too is realpolitik.

Seems to me there is a real double standard here. Maybe someone can explain the difference to me...

Monday, October 29, 2007

No comment necessary

Received the following email:

From: Jose Ortiz []
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 7:26 PM
Subject: Your narrowminded view of the Holocaust:

Yes, we should criticize Holocaust denials' people.

But the way you lump all of us who criticize the firebombing of Germany with Holocaust denials racists I'll take it as your own narrowminded [sic] view of the event. And also an insult.

Let me say that the Holocaust and World War II go hand together. Whether it was Hitler's final solution to the Jewish problem, or Gen. Harris' decision to firebomb Nazi Germany, are the two sides of the same coin. And that coin was Hitler's Third Reich and World War II.

If you wish us to see the Holocaust as something alien from World War II, people are beginning to see that is not the case. We are smarter than that, Ms. Lipstadt. Thanks.

[I know I said no comment but it's my blog and I'll break my own rules: the premise of this criticism is completely invalid. I don't lump those who criticize the firebombing with deniers. I do criticize David Irving for lying about Dresden, overtly so.

But the important thing is the tone of the email... ]

Friday, October 26, 2007

An enduring myth: "The Poles were worse than the Nazis."

Last week I was in Poland. While there I kept stressing to the people with whom I was travelling that it is wrong to depict Poland as a place of unending antisemitism or to fall prey to the absurd but, nonetheless, oft-heard comment made by Jews who visit the place, "The Poles were worse than the Nazis."

Many people, Jews primarily among them, believe the balderdash that the Germans put the death camps in Poland because the Poles would be happy to see the Jews killed. They ignore the fact that to the Germans Auschwitz was German territory and was to be the site of a major German settlement.

One person, who is well-informed and well read, found this notion of Polish non-complicity hard to grasp. He kept trying to find links:

Weren't they guards at Auschwitz? No, I said.

Well weren't they part of the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile killing units? Wrong again.

Well how about in the Sonderkommando units [the groups of prisoners who essentially pulled people off the trians, pushed them into the gas chambers, and then disposed of the bodies and who, themselves, were gassed by the Germans every few months because they knew too much]? No those groups were composed, in the main, of Jews.

This is not to say, of course, that Poland does not have a long and enduring history of antisemitism. It does. [Remember the scene in Lanzmann's Shoah in front of the Chelmno church?]

But then again, so does the Ukraine, Russia, and, of course, France. In fact, the late George Mosse, the great historian of European Jewry, was reported to have said that if someone in 1905 described in a prophecy what the Holocaust would be and how it would decimate European Jewry, the logical response would have been: "What a terrible thing for France to do." [Remember Dreyfus?]

In fact when the French deportations took place there was not a German official, officer, or uniformed man in site. All French police. The Germans wanted the foreign adults deported. The French sent them the adults and the children.

Yet we have no qualms about visiting Paris.

While Poland had terrible and extensive examples of antisemitism [read Jan Gross' Neighbors or his more recent work Fear for compelling examples of this], nonetheless let's not confuse that with the German plan to wipe out European Jewry. [I reviewed Gross' Fear and may have myself gone a bit overboard in condemning an entire nation. ]

Auschwitz, Maidanek, Sobibor, Treblinka, Chelmno, and Belzec were not "Polish" death camps. They were German camps that were placed in Poland by the Germans because that was where most of the victims were.

This is not a brief on behalf of the Poles of the 1940s. It's a reminder to keep one's historical eyes where they belong, i.e. on Germany.

I strongly recommend Rethinking Poles and Jews: Trouble Past, Brighter Future edited by Robert Cherry and Annamaria Orla-Bukowska for a series of essays that pierce the stereotypes which have obscured historical reality.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"The Israel Lobby": A devastating critique from Foreign Affairs

Despite bending over backwards to try to be kind to Walt and Mersheimer, Walter Russell Mead, Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations has written a devastating critique of their book.

Mead notes that while he does not think Walt and Mersheimer are antisemites he repeatedly acknowledges that the book will give great comfort to antisemites.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Turkey Blames the Jews

If it were not so serious it would actually be amusing.

Who has Turkey singled out as being responsible for the passage of the Armenian genocide resolution? The Jews.

According to a sobering story in the JTA , Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said he told American Jewish leaders that a genocide bill would strengthen the public perception in Turkey that “Armenian and Jewish lobbies unite forces against Turks.”

Babacan added, “We have told them that we cannot explain it to the public in Turkey if a road accident happens. We have told them that we cannot keep the Jewish people out of this.”

The Turkish public seems to have absorbed that message.

An online survey by Zaman’s English-language edition asking why Turks believed the bill succeeded showed at one point that 22 percent of respondents had chosen “Jews’ having legitimized the genocide claims” -- second only to “Turkey’s negligence.”

The Turks are livid with the ADL for reversing its position on the genocide and declaring that what happened was “indeed tantamount to genocide.”

According to the JTA,
Mustafa Akyol, an Istanbul-based political commentator who frequently writes about religious issues, says the strong reaction to the ADL’s policy switch and the perception that it somehow legitimized the Armenians’ claims are based on an “inflated sense” of American Jewish power among the Turkish public.

“There is a belief that [the resolution] couldn't have happened without Jewish support,” Akyol said. Now where are all those self-righteous critics who have been attacking the ADL for what it did? They have fallen prey to the same stereotype as the Turks. It's all the fault of the Jews.
Well at long last there is something both sides can agree on: the Jews did it.... but they knew that already.

Thoughts on a visit to Auschwitz/Birkenau

I just returned from Krakow and a visit to Auschwitz Birkenau. While I have been to both places quite a few times, each visit leaves an indelible mark. On this visit I did something I had never done before.

The Auschwitz Museum recently restored the Alte Judenrampe. This is the place where the trains stopped and people were subjected to:”selection” from 1942 to 1944.

In 1944 a train spur was added so that the trains went right into the camp. This was done to "expedite" the murder of Hungarian Jews who arrived in tremendous number from May to July 1944.

Not only has the site of the selection been restored but the very road on which Jews walked into the camp has also been opened.

It is a chilling – and far far more than that -- experience to walk on that very road and to try to imagine what it was like for Jews who had been plucked from their homes and brought here, either directly or via ghettoes.

There are powerful descriptions in both Primo Levi’s and Ruth Kluge’s memoirs. It is an experience that leaves one who was not there and can only imagine what it was like with no words.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Oxford Union: David Irving says he's not going to accept the invitation

David Irving has told the Jewish Chronicle in London that he will NOT accept the Oxford Union invitation to appear in a debate alongside of the leader of the far right British National Party, Nick Griffin.

Even Irving, who seems to me to be someone who thrives on the maxim, "I don't care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right," apparently understands that keeping company with a man like Griffin was not a good career move.

Actually given that he has said things such as seeing Black cricket players "makes me queasy" and many other things which led Judge Gray to say "Irving is a racist", it seems to me that he might actually have been in good company with Griffin.

[For Judge Gray's comments regarding Irving's racism see the final section of his judgment. ]

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Armenian Genocide: Beating up on the ADL

The passion with which some people are attacking the ADL for its position on the Armenian genocide leaves me wondering if they are not using this as an excuse to beat up on the organization.

As I wondered in a previous post, will there be the same passion against Jimmy Carter when he comes to Lexington as there against the ADL? Take a look at this clip from Lexington , Mass town meeting. Why not criticize Carter, who after all, says quite explicitly that neither what happened in Armenia nor what is going on in Darfur are genocides.

Or will anyone complain about the sneering way in which NPR's Senior News Analyst, Dan Schorr, referred to the genocide on his weekly news analysis on Weekend Edition this past Saturday?

Schorr, his voice dripping with criticism, referred to "this business of people who want to please the Armenians in California coming up with a resolution calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians genocide" which will antagonize a "once very loyal ally, Turkey."

Will these people criticize Carter, stop supporting NPR, or go after the politicians who are changing their positions on this matter? Will John Murtha, who has so severely condemned the war in Iraq, stop being their hero as a result of his call for the defeat of this resolution?

I don't think they will do any of these things. They will go after the ADL which has done important work in the field of prejudice reduction.

Without falling prey to conspiracy theories -- something I abhor -- I have to wonder what is these ADL critic's unspoken agenda? Why are they singling it out?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

No comment necessary

Just received the following email. It speaks for itself.
The profound bigotry is yours. It's telling that you say "many of [the emails you receive] are so overtly antisemitic that I have not posted them."

Why not post them -- if they exist.

If you cannot see how racist Israel is, perhaps you should ask Desmond Tutu or Nelson Mandela, both of whom clearly know infinitely more than small-minded racists like yourself.

The fact is, again, that you are the bigot.

Your characterization of the work of Mearsheimer and Walt is so riddled with falsehoods as to make it laughable.

You capitalise on malicious -- borderline actionable
-- misrepresentation of people whose work you clearly have either not read, or if you have, are incapable of understanding.

You are a racist bigot of the very first order.

You should be ashamed of yourself. Emory should be ashamed to have such an idiot on its faculty.

Fantasy Land: White Supremacist creative history

The following statement appeated on a White Supremacist site yesterday:
Earlier this week, Prof. Deborah Lipstadt of Emory University appeared on the Bill O'Reilly television program to urge that engineering Prof. Arthur Butz of Northwestern University be fired for writing--outside his classroom-- critical studies of the Auschwitz gas chambers. Instead of rebuking Lipstadt for her tyrannical desire to silence academics who do not subscribe to her opinions about World War II, O'Reilly replied that he would take her request to fire Prof. Butz, to the President of Northwestern!

Had the shoe been on the other foot, and O'Reilly had urged that Emory University fire Lipstadt, there would have been a national uproar. Instead, Lipstadt can advocate a Judaic dictatorship over college campuses and the termination of a highly competent professor of engineering who has educated generations of youth, and there is nary a peep from the great white race in America. Thanks be to God the Muslims still kindle in their hearts a righteous anger against injustice like this.
Nothing in this statement bears any relationship to reality:
1. I did not appear on O'Reilly this week. I did appear about eighteen monts ago on this topic.

2. When I did I noted that Butz CANNOT be fired because of tenure [and the fact that he does not engage in his historical distortions in the classroom]

3. Consequently, O'Reilly made not "promise" to bring this to the President of Northwestern.

It's amusing and a sign of how desperate these folks are.

Cancelled speech reinstituted

Since I blogged about the cancellation, let me blog about the reversal.

The University of Leeds Department of German, Russian and Slavonic Studies yesterday successfully held a lecture by German academic Dr Matthias Kuentzel on the topic of ' Hitler's Legacy: Islamic Antisemitism in the Middle East. More than 120 people attended the lecture. Apparently the was wholly undisturbed and the discussion was held in a civilised manner.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Washington Post, Jimmy Carter, Senator Lindsey Graham speak out against the Armenian Genocide Resolution: Yet all the attention is on Abe Foxman

The Washington Post has severely condemned the Armenian Genocide resolution, as has Jimmy Carter [this a.m. on CNN], Senator Lindsey Graham, Juan Cole, and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

This represents people from the far left, the blatantly anti-Israel, the Republican right, and the left of center.

Why then all the attention to Abe Foxman's position??? I have been inundated with emails critical of Abe Foxman and the ADL. So many of them are so overtly antisemitic that I have not posted them.

Various towns in Massachusetts want to drop the ADL's anti-prejudice programs because of its stand on the Armenian genocide. Are they also going to condemn Jimmy Carter when he comes to town???? Why does he get a free pass?

By the way, Carter also refuses to call what is happening in Darfur a genocide. But Israel practices apartheid? What am I missing here?

And why all the talk about the Jewish Lobby controlling foreign policy when 7 of the 8 Jewish members of the House Foreign Relation Committee voted FOR the resolution? Did these Representatives not get the message? Were they missing the day the Lobby handed out its marching orders?

Something is out of whack here.... seriously so.

Oxford Union: David Irving invited to speak at Oxford Union along with other people with "awful and abhorrent views"

Well, never underestimate the decision making process of Oxford Union students. They have invited David Irving to speak at the Union, one of the most prestigious "debating" venues in the world.

They have not asked him to speak about the Holocaust but they have asked him to speak about freedom of speech. On this topic I hope someone asks him to speak about how he tried to deny freedom of speech to those authors who have criticized him [just like Bin Mafouz] in the past. I am still struck by the fact that he offered to drop the suit against me if I agreed to pulp my book.

His ability to do this had, by the way, been seriously curtailed since his disastrous [from his perspective] suit against me.

The only redeeming aspect of this gesture is the group of people with whom the invitation to Irving was grouped. As the Guardian reported:
The Oxford Union debating society came under fire last night after its president said he had approached Holocaust denier David Irving, British National party chairman Nick Griffin and the Belarussian dictator, Alexander Lukoshenko, to speak at forthcoming events.

Luke Tryl said he had asked Mr Irving and Mr Griffin to speak at the union's Free Speech Forum, due to take place at the end of November, adding that Mr Lukoshenko, the Belarussian president, accused of a string of human rights abuses, had been approached to address students later in the term.

"The Oxford Union is famous for is commitment to free speech and although I do think these people have awful and abhorrent views I do think Oxford students are intelligent enough to challenge and ridicule them," he told the Guardian, adding that no formal decision on who would be invited had been made.

He has been grouped with some of the despicable people in the world. People can take some comfort in the headline the Guardian gave this event:
BNP leader and Holocaust denier invited to Oxford Union
Dictator among those asked to address students

Irving sandwiched between the far right wing BNP leader and a dictator. That needs no comment.

If Irving does come I hope the students are well prepared and ask good questions -- as we did in court -- that skewer him.

And, while I think the invitation should never have been issued, I tend to think a strong campaign against the invitation should NOT be mounted. All it will do is make Irving look like a martyr rather than the reviled character has become.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New York Times Oped by Deborah Lipstadt and Michael Broyde on Libel Tourism

See today's New York Times for an oped by me and Michale Broyde, my colleague from Emory Law School, on Libel Tourism, the attempt by Saudi bizillionaire Ibn Mafouz to stop anyone from publishing anything linking him to terrorism.

He is exerting a chill of unbelievable proportions and must be stopped. Where are the voices of outrage from my university colleagues? They seem to take Saudi efforts to silence those who criticize them in stride. Wonder if Mr. Walt and Mr. Mearsheimer are going to write about this... doubt it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

House Foreign Affairs Committee passes Armenian Genocide resolution

A short while ago the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the resolution condemning the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey in World War I as an act of genocide.

Turkey is very upset and is threatening to reconsider supporting the American war effort, which includes permission to ship essential supplies through Turkey and northern Iraq.

So here's my question: if the "Jewish lobby" controls American foreign policy and many Jewish organizations, especially Abe Foxman and the ADL, opposed this resolution because of their fears about the welfare of the Turkish Jewish community and their appreciation of Turkey's relations with Israel... HOW COME THIS PASSED????

Maybe Jimmy Carter can explain.... Must have been a mistake....Or the Foreign Affairs Committee did not get its marching orders right... And if Jimmy can't explain maybe Professors Walt or Mearsheimer can....♠

Saturday, October 6, 2007

On using [and preferably not] the term "Jappy"

Over this weekend I was taken aback when a smart, sharp, funny, sassy [in the best sense of the word] Jewish woman used the term Jappy. My friend Miriam was commenting on a TV character and dismissed her as "Jappy, Jappy, Jappy." [She also tends to be emphatic, a characteristic with which I admit to being somewhat familiar.]

Miriam is someone whose Jewish identity is integral to who she is. It's not something she takes on and off at will. More importantly, she delights in being a member of this particular "tribe."

I will cut her some slack and say she may be too young to remember when the term was used by comedians, journalists, and just about everyone at will. I am not sure. But the fact is that it is deeply antisemitic and unequivocally misogynist.

"The Jap" is a stereotype of someone who has all the attributes an antisemite would associate with Jews: loves money and material comfort and will do anything to anyone to further her own needs even if it means causing others pain and problems. She is rich, narcissistic, self-centered, a "user" of people, and generally a pretty disgusting person.

This stereotyping of a Jewish woman would not make sense if those who spread it did not have 1000s of years of antisemitic stereotypes on which to rely.

Furthermore the term is ONLY associated with women, as if to say it is Jewish women who have raised these disgusting attributes to an art, oppressing not just non-Jews but also the Jewish men in their orbit.

I am sure there will be those who will tell me it was spread and nurtured by Jewish comedians. How then, they will probably ask, could it be antisemitic? The answer is that just because a negative stereotype originates with a member of the group under attack does not mean it is not a stereotyping of the group.

Those who created and spread this version of the stereotype are the same generation of comedians and writers who nurtured the obnoxious image of the Jewish mother. While the Jewish mother, as they depicted her, was overbearing, intrusive, and disgusting, she had one redeeming social value. Unlike the "Jap," she focused her energies on making things better for others, her children particular. In contrast, the "Jap," who has all the same tendencies, is only interested in herself.

[I might point out that the stereotype of the Italian mother has all the same attributes of the Jewish mother. She, however,was and is depicted as an affirming, wonderful character.]

I wonder if the term would have ever gained traction if it did not also build on the contempt once extant in this country for people of Japanese descent. In other words the term was already one of contempt so it was easier to transfer it from one group which was an object of contempt to another group which is an object of contempt.

The fact is that there are lots of young spoiled, self-centered, materialistic people: some of them are men, some of them are women, some of them are Protestant, some of them are Catholics, some of them are White, some of them are Black, some Asian, and some of them are Jews.

Thanks to the too often maligned notion of "political correctness," we hear the term less frequently today. I hope Miriam -- and anyone else inclined to use the word -- will return it and keep it forever consigned to the one place it belongs: the dust bin of ugly prejudicial stereotypes.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

If David Irving is a scrupulous historian how come he's posting phony news stories?

As a result of having read about David Irving's supposed comeback, Michael Moynihan of Reason visited Irving's website. [This is something I rarely do. So hats off to Moynihan for having the gastro-fortitude.]

He discovered that Irving has posted a story which claimed to come from the AP on a Harvard Law School student who was supposedly expelled for having cited a Holocaust denial source in a paper. The attack on the student, according to this story, was led by Alan Dershowitz.

The story is a satire. It has no relationship to reality. Irving apparently picked it up from some virulently anti-Zionist website.

Posting a story from such a website without checking if it is true [a ridiculously simple thing to do] seems to fly in the face of Irving's protestation in court that he waswas scrupulously fair in everything I do in public life?

Wonder if the Guardian or Forward will be hoodwinked, as they were by Irving, into doing a story on this too?

More about the Forward's less than stellar coverage of this story in another post.

Re David Irving: Caveat Emptor

From Bente, David Irving's partner and the mother of his youngest daughter:
"You cannot trust a word he writes."
Now ain't that the truth!

Readers should know that rumors have been circulating for years -- and on occasion Irving has made statements that inidcate that Bente has been less than pleased with his escapades.

Deniers continue to lash out at Irving

The Forward has reported on Irving's epiphany and deniers' reactions:

Michael Santomauro, who runs the revisionist Web site Reporters Notebook. “[Irving] is a flip-flopper on the Holocaust,” Santomauro said. “I think he’s positioning himself to sell more books

Well I never thought I would agree with a denier but Santomauro got it just right.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

UK's UCU [University and College Union] Cancels Boycott Threat

The UCU has been told by its own legal advisers that their threatened boycott against Israeli institutions is illegal.

Now who is going to tell those who spearheaded it that it was also immoral, stupid, and contrary to the very essence of what universities are all about?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

As predicted: Denier Fredrich Berg attacks Irving's epiphany

As I predicted, the attacks from his fellow deniers on David Irving have begun. Here's the latest from Holocaust denier Friedrich Berg on Irving's "new' views on Holocaust [a term he won't use]l Berg's comments appeared on alt.revisionism:
Before David Irving was wrongfully imprisoned in Austria a few years ago, he said that he only believed there were some "experimental" gassings and gave no further details.

Now according to a story in The Guardian he seems to have changed his tune and believes 2.4 million Jews may have been exterminated in three camps in Poland. Those camps, according to the story about Irving, were Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor.

According to traditional holocaust mania, those camps all supposedly used diesel exhaust as the source of carbon monoxide.
Has imprisonment simply made Irving more compliant toward the established version of the great hoax?

Got some details, Mr. Irving? How about it, Mr. Irving?
Oliver Kamm, [about whose column in the London Times on how Kurt Vonnegut got the Bombing of Dresden so wrong -- he relied on David Irving's account-- I have commented before] has blogged about Irving's new views on events of the Holocaust.

It's well worth reading... though its title says it all "Irving, the unsinkable rubber duck."

David Irving: He's Back .... but does it really matter??? [except to deniers... who aren't going to like it]

According to the Guardian, David Irving, whom it described in a headline as "Discredited" is planning a "comeback" speaking tour. [The paper also described him as a "Historian"... though I can't say why].

What Irving has to say will not make deniers happy.

First, of course, he engages in his traditional antisemitism, telling the paper that
"the Jews were responsible for what happened to them during the second world war and that the 'Jewish problem' was responsible for nearly all the wars of the past 100 years: "The Jews are the architects of their own misfortune, but that is the short version A-Z. Between A-Z there are then 24 other characters in intervening steps."

His rant reminds me of statements by someone he seems to lionize, Hitler, in that he blames Jews for every war in the last 100 years. [Korea? Iran-Iraq? Eritreia-Ethiopia? Somalia?]

But what he says about the Holocaust is really going to upset his denier pals:
"that a document, which he is 80% sure is genuine, suggests that 2.4 million Jews were killed in Poland, but goes on to claim that the gas chamber at Auschwitz was fake. "

Even as he says that at Sobibor, Belzec, and Treblinka about 2.4 million Jews were killed by men in control of Heinrich Himmler, he whitewashes the Germans by claiming that the killers were "mostly Ukrainian mercenaries."

Pressed to say whether he now accepted that there had been a Holocaust [I am not sure why what he accepts or does not is important] he engages in one of his traditional antisemitic swipes by saying he was "not going to use their trade name."

Then apparently still finding it necessary to protect Hitler, he claims the German leaders was "completely in the dark" about the programme.

The fact is that David Irving has made so many twists and turns in his claims that even I, who is pretty familiar with them all, has a hard time keeping track of them all.

The only way he gets attention is by swerving in one direction and then the other.

I wonder if this acknowledgment would have gotten him dis-invited from the Iran denial conference had he not been in jail in Austria....

He has truly become, as I describe him in History on Trial, the court Jester.