Friday, March 30, 2007

Basketball Coach's antisemitic slurs: Ignorance? Latent [Potential] Hatred? Stupidity? All of the above?

Michael Ray Richardson, a coach in the CBA [Continental Basketball Association], recently told Brian Ettkin of the Albany Times Union that he was not worried about his contract because "I've got big-time lawyers," Richardson said. "I've got big-time Jew lawyers."

When the sports columnist suggested that such a remark might offend Jews because it supports the stereotype that Jews are "crafty and shrewd," Richardson replied:
"Are you kidding me? They are. They've got the best security system in the world. Have you ever been to an airport in Tel Aviv? They're real crafty. Listen, they are hated all over the world, so they've got to be crafty."
When he was asked why are they hated, Richardon continued with his sociological analysis.
"They know that in this country the Jews are running it if you really think about it," Richardson said. "I mean, which is not a bad thing, you know what I mean?"

"How are they running it?" he was asked.

"They got a lot of power in this world, you know what I mean?" he said. "Which I think is great. I don't think there's nothing wrong with it. If you look in most professional sports, they're run by Jewish people. If you look at a lot of most successful corporations and stuff, more businesses, they're run by Jewish. It's not a knock, but they are some crafty people."
When the reporter told him such statements were "analogous to asking a black person to visit because there's fresh watermelon in the refrigerator," Richardson protested that what he said was:
just a figure of speech, just like when they call us ... 'nigger.' When they call us 'nigger' I don't get offended, because most of the people who say the word 'nigger' don't know the definition. If they knew the definition they wouldn't say it.
His boss, the general manager, at first, did nothing but said that Richardson probably did not know his statements would offend someone and if he felt so inclined he should apologize.

My guess is that Richardson thinks he was being complimentary about Jews. Of course, philo-semitism esily flips over into antisemitism. Should that smart Jewish lawyer lose, Richardson may just say: That crafty Jewish lawyer...

What this coach needs is an education about prejudice, stereotyping, and hatred. He has now been suspended. He might be reinstated if apologized.

If he is forced to aplogize, he will probably be coached into saying the right thing. In his heart, however, he might well be convinced that his is only apologizing because Jews indeed are in control and he has been forced to pay his "pound of flesh."

To further complicate the issue he also called a fan a "faggot" and told him to shut the f--k up.

Here's where education has a role to play. This guy does not need to be taught why you can't say such things. He needs to be taught why saying such things -- about Jews, African-Ameircans, gays, etc. -- are dangerous.

JTA gets it wrong on David Irving

The JTA recently reported that David Irving's property will soon be seized by Penguin Books in order to cover it's legal costs. According to the article "Irving was ordered at the time to pay Lipstadt´s legal costs, estimated at nearly $3 million. The ruling ruined him financially."

Not correct. Penguin pursued Irving for its costs. I did not. I never asked him for a penny and never received anything from him.

The article also reports that Irving had decided to pursue his libel action against the writer Gitta Sereny and The Observer newspaper, even though that case hinges on many of the same issues that we proved were false. Amazingly British law permits bankrupt individuals to sue for libel and also allows him to keep any money awarded from such lawsuits.

I am not sure if this information is any more reliable than the fact that the court ordered him to pay my costs.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bill Clinton says Carter's book is factually incorrect

In this week's Forward Bill Clinton voices some pretty critical remarks about Carter's book. The most important of them is that he simply gets it wrong, particularly in relation to Camp David 2.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

9/11 Conspiracies: A film producer with a mind so open his brains fell out

Mark Davis [], a correspondent for the Dallas Morning News, reports that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is backing a film called Loose Change, which argues that 9/11 was an inside job and that our own government, not al-Qaeda terrorists, brought down the World Trade Centers in an act of deliberate murder.

Cuban does not believe in these claims which makes his his act, to quote Davis, of "stunning moral idiocy," all the more amazing.

Davis had an email exchange with Cuban. Cuban expounded on the evils of censorship and the courage involved in standing up to the status quo. What Cuban fails to understand -- or chooses not to understand -- is that there is a difference between protecting someones freedom of speech and providing the person with a soapbox on which to make his claims.

Davis asked Cuban if he would distribute a film called Slavery: It Wasn't So Bad or The Holocaust: The Jews Deserved It. I would add The Holocaust: It Never Happened

Cuban told Dais he would if they were "well produced." Has he even seen Birth of a Nation or read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Some would say these were well produced for their time. Should they be distributed even further?

The other thing that Cuban might reflect on is that the same people who spread 9/11 conspiracy theories are often -- not always but often -- Holocaust deniers, antisemites, and people opposed to the existence of Israel.

Free speech means people have a right to make complete asses of themselves. It does not mean that every idiot idea which comes out of a person's mouth -- however eloquently expressed -- should be provided with a place at the table.

As one pundit [I wish I knew who he was] said: Some people's minds are so open, their brains fell out. So it is with Mark Cuban.

[BTW, Cuban is Jewish. (This will matter to some people.) Which proves, in case one needed proof, you can be an MOT and an idiot at the same time.]

A message from a denier

Just received a phone call from a Holocaust denier [who stressed his putative Jewish ancestry]. He ranted and raved a bit. He wasn't very creative or smart. I just let him rip waiting to see what would emerge from his mouth.

He grew angrier and angrier that I would not play his game. Finally, he flew into a rage and sputtered: "There were no gas chambers but if there are I hope they put you in one."

In that one sentence he hit on the deniers' ultimate dilemma. They claim there was not a Holocaust but they are so dripping with venom towards Jews that they believe there should have been one.

Maybe I can hook him up with Devil's Kitchen. Remember him and his articulate attack on me? These two guys would probably play well together.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

David Irving goes to Auschwitz

AP reports that Irving went to Auschwitz where he claimed that gassings were impossible. Though the AP report mentions his Austrian conviction it fails to mention that the UK courts found these claims by Irving to be totally untenable, i.e. lies.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

University of Leeds [UK] Cancels Speech Critical of Islam: Self-Censorship run amuck

The University of Leeds cancelled a speech by Dr. Matthias Kuentzel of Germany.The speech, entitled ‘Hitler’s Legacy: Islamic Antisemitism in the Middle East’ was cancelled on the day Dr. Kuentzel arrived in Leeds without any explanation to him or apology. In addition to his speech, his two seminars were also cancelled.

The Secretary of the University admitted that the University “received no threats, and only a handful of complaints”. Apparently the university received some E-mails by Muslim students who asked for the "cancelling the lecture all together” and to “apologize to the Muslim Community as a whole, for suggesting such a topic.”

For more information on this controversy see the website of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East [SPME]. For those interested, Kuentzel's paper may be dowloaded.

I have written the following letter to the Secretary of the University: Dear University Secretary Gair:
I am writing you to express my outrage at the cancellation of the talk by Dr. Matthew Küntzel. Dr. Küntzel is an academic and someone whose views would be of interest to the academic community at the University of Leeds.

I understand that one of the reasons the lecture was cancelled was on "safety grounds. to protect the safety of participants in the event" as your press release indicates. First of all, this indicates that your university can easily be silenced by threats. More importantly, it suggests that a few protestors can silence anyone they don't like. I am given to understand that his lecture had been well publicized for weeks. This suggests that the university had enough time to put proper security in place.

It appears that your university has practiced self-censorship of the first order. Your behavior is an embarrassment to an institution which claims to engage in higher education or, truth be told, education of any form.

For your information,I recently received an inquiry from some students at your university inquiring whether I would be willing to come to Leeds at some point to discuss Holocaust denial and the growing antisemitism and anti-Israelism on many university campuses. I would also discuss my defense in Irving v. Lipstadt, the libel trial which resulted from David Irving's charge against me of libel. I predict that there will be those who will try to do to me exactly what a number of Muslim students have successfully managed to get you to do to Dr. Küntzel. If my schedule permits me to accept the students' invitation, I shall watch with interest whether once again you show the same commitment to academic freedom and free speech that you have shown in this case.

Sincerely yours,

Deborah E. Lipstadt, Ph.D.
Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies
Director, Institute for Jewish Studies
Emory University

Friday, March 23, 2007

Good news from French Court: It's OK to publish the Danish Muhammed Cartoons

In contrast to the previous post in which a German judge took multia French court has shown the good sense to rule that a paper which published the Danish Muslim cartoons had every right to do so. The charges, which had been brought by the Paris Mosque and the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, accused the newspaper of “publicly abusing a group of people because of their religion.”

As the NY Times reported, the French paper, Charlie Hebdo
published the cartoons in solidarity with the Danish newspaper and to make a point about freedom of expression in France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe.
The Times also noted that the French paper published an original drawing by the French cartoonist Cabu depicting a crying Muhammad with his head in his hands, saying, “It’s hard to be loved by idiots.”

While the French court's decision is reassuring, I wonder why the NYTimes did not publish this original drawing. Are we seeing the chilling effect of the Muslim protests???

PC run amuck: German Judge cites Koran on permission for husbands to beat wives

According to a story in today's New York Times German judge, Christa Datz-Winter, refused to expedite a Muslim woman's divorce because, quoting the Koran, she noted that it permits wife beating and therefore the man must have thought it was OK to do so.

Other Germans, including some Muslims in Germany, have reacted with unanimous outrage.
In a ruling that underlines the tension between Muslim customs and European laws, the judge, Christa Datz-Winter, noted that the couple came from a Moroccan cultural milieu, in which it is common for husbands to beat their wives. The Koran, she wrote in her decision, sanctions such physical abuse.
What is shocking to me is how does a dolt such as this judge get to be a judge in the first place?

While I applaud those who have criticized this ruling, it could still be a harbinger of things to come. This is multi-culturalism run completely amuck. It's one thing to allow people to celebrate their culture. It's another thing to give up the very principles on which your culture is founded to enable them to do so.

What if this judge had been ruling on the matter of cliterectomies? I shudder to think what would have happened by now....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A correspondent from Sarajevo reflects on genocide denial laws

Received the following email from Sarajevo:

From: Dusan Babic
Sent: Monday, March 19, 2007 1:39 PM
To: Deborah Lipstadt
Subject: Free Speech

Dear Deborah,

After reading Brendan's article in Spiked online, I've visited your blog and read the Sugg's attack on you and your answer. He described you as "an architect of silencing debate", and you're just doing the opposite think, clearly claiming that "this kind of legislation (criminalizing genocide) could put a kabash on that (i.e., debate)".

Yesterday I was reading another Brendan's article about controversies over hate speech. In my respond, I did remind him of his article also published in the Spiked online (Dec., 20, 2005), then he was using two cases: of Orhan Pamuk and of David Irving to claim, what was put in the title itself: "Free Speech in Europe: It's All or Nothing". In brief, I've replied that Brendan is absolutizing the freedom of expression.

Simply, there is no such thing, at least for most of Europeans, after horrors of the WW 2 and the Holocaust, and the bloody Balkans wars.

In my modest view, "Mein Kampf" is the litmus test of democracy and responsibility. By far, it's the most detrimental book ever written.

Your countryman, Norman Cousins, had calculated:"for every word 125 lives were to be lost; for every page, 4,700 lives; for every chapter, more than 1,2 million lives."

European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), has been inspired by horrifying events, just as the result of the "Mein Kampf", i.e., its hate inspired language. No need to mention the shameful role the media played in inciting the violence which ended in a civil war in my country. Words are power and men are sinful. Hate inspiring language cannot be an unregulated frontier.

Regarding, possible criminalization of all genocides, only the Holocaust deniers should be prosecuted, since it was a real genocide.


Dusan Babic, media expert, researcher and analyst,
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

"Aryans against the ZOG" [Zionist Occupation Government],Yahoo chat group, has a vivid imagination

The Aryans vs. the ZOG, a Yahoo chatroom, that proclaims
We are a group of white supremesists....You must be primarily of Aryan descent to join this group. Our gowl is to unite all Aryan groups to bring fourth a new birth of freedeom for our people. you can reach me at I go by Christopher Stone. We need recruits. fight for our race.88
has an amazingly creative and novel description of my lecture at Xavier. It's pretty disgusting, so consider yourself forwarned:
Last night ADL member Deborah Lipstadt attempted to give a lecture on the holohoax and the Freedom of Speech we Americans are supposed to have. That is only if you're jewish, black, or some other non-white.

However, members of the NSM, Cincinatti National Alliance and IKA showed up to debate and completely disrupted the meeting. As soon as the lecture started at Xavier University, Lipstadt started of by saying what a dreadful tragedy the holohoax was and Robert of the NA, waved his arm and asked her which holohoax she was referring to: the one on Russian Christians or the alleged on that took place during WWII.

Chaos erupted and Rob was escorted outside by a rude old k*ke and told to leave. Matt, of the IKA, stood up and went outside to make sure that no other k*kes jumped our Comrade and was told he too, was kicked out. Yeah, there's that Freedom of Speech thing again. Pesky Constitution!

The NSM volks showed up from Cincinatti, Columbus, Lewisburg and Dayton and added to the mix. As soon as they showed up in black BDUs and bomber jackets, Ms. Lipstadt started stuttering and completely crumbled under the stares from the Nazis. The smell of her inadvertantly released feces and urine could be smelled in the back of the room! Unit Leader Gary Robinson made her lose it when he interrupted her and asked her several questions, none of which were answered by the fat jew slag. Typical Jew Behavior! Her internet bravado and bullsh*t didn't save her last night! Her normally loud, boisterous and loud-mouthed bullsh*t didn't work at all! There were over 300 jews and ADL members present and they were genuinely afraid! It was AWESOME!!!

After the mock lecture, everyone said their good-byes and celebrated in our own way, a victorious and glorious night of comraderie, unity and some plain good fun at the k*kes expense!

The problem is that it completely disagrees with what the National Alliance said happened. Can't these antisemites and racists get their stories straight?

National Alliance News Reports on Xavier talk

The National Alliance News, which bills itself as news for "white people by white people," reports on the tremendous event which took place at Xavier University in Cincinnati. The article closes with a vote of
Thanks to all White nationalists who took part in this event.

That speaks for itself.

By the way, this is the group that David Irving addressed a number of times during his visits to the US. For details go to

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

David Irving surfaces in Budapest

According to the Budapest Times, Irving received a friendly reception from some 250 people at a small theatre last week.

Roger Hodgson, the reporter, referred to
"the Lipstadt libel case that drove the last nails into the coffin of his reputation.... Irving is now widely regarded as a crank, but is an almost iconic figure in the world of extreme-right fringe politics.
Many warned that imprisoning him would only heighten his importance to those sympathetic to his marginal, extremist views. To the small audience that came to hear him talk in a subterranean theatre in Budapest, people who like to think of themselves as victims living in a police state, David Irving was, at least for one night, a hero."

Degesch, the company that made the poison gas, has an American unit

Degesch, the company that produced the Zyklon B, which was used in the gas chambers in Auschwitz/Birkenau, has an American unit, where they produce... fumigants.

[Thanks to my good friend Harry Mazal, the moving force behind the Holocaust History Project, for alerting me to this.]

Their website boasts that:
Degesch employees continue to make important contributions in fumigant research, development and application techniques
Do those previous "important contributions," which they continue to make, include their work at Auschwitz?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Neo-Nazi Clowns try to dusrupt my lecture

I spoke last night at Xavier University in Cincinnati [where they were still mourning their loss to OSU in overtime] and my lecture was disrupted by some nut who began to scream about Ilya Ehrenburg and how Jews cause antisemitism. He was ushered out -- but not before some older man almost engaged him in a fist fight.

Then a group of skinheads marched in and stood at the back of the auditorium in two different groups. I would say there were about 20 of them.

By this time the auditorium was crawling with university security.

They wore black or red t-shirst with swastikas and other symbols. They were pretty far away but one seemed to have "White Power" on his shirt. Their leader assumed a Mussolini pose [I had to control myself from telling him that he was emulaing the wrong fascist]: arms crossed on his chest and his chest thrust forward.

Periodically he would march up and down the line and say something to the others. To me it was pretty comical. Most of the audience did not know they were there. I think some of the people who have been very disturbed had they known.

During the Q&A one audience member asked about what David Irving is doing now. I said he spends most of his time talking to skinhead lowlife characters. I looked directly at them when I said it, grinned a bit, and squelched my inclination to "just like the folks in the back."

At the very end of the Q&A session I said: "We have a number of visitors in the back. They have come to disrupt and to make a fuss. The worst thing you can do to them is ignore them. I ask, therefore, that you don't engage them in debate and conversation. They deserve one thing and one thing only: to be ignored."

Thankfully the audience complied.

As I was driving home I realized that these must be the people who attend David Irving's "Real History" conference every August. They deserve each other.

What a bunch of clowns. And what a way to spend your birthday.

News Scoop from Iranian TV: The Film 300 is a Zionist Conspiracy against Iran

Thanks to the good efforts of Memri-TV, the project which translates materials from Arabic and Farsi, you can see how Iranian TV inculcates antisemitism. Click on #1400 for the review of the new film 300, which the Iranians claim is a "conspiracy" produced by the "Zionist Warner" Bros. which is owned by a prosperous American Jew, in cahoots with extremists.

The cartoon on the "milking of the 9/11 cow" [#1403] speaks for itself

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Creative Loafing, Atlanta's "alternative" paper attacks me

Creative Loafing's editor, John Sugg, has penned a vitriolic attack on me. I am used to that. Problem is that it is full of fabrications. Here's the letter I just sent to Creative Loafing.

John Sugg has penned an attack on me which is full of inventions and distortions of my words. I would not mind his vitriol if he had his facts straight. He writes: “She basically said that any action by Israel – however horrific, violent and at odds with international law – was justified by the Holocaust.” Will John Sugg show me where in my article I said anything to that effect? I made no such statement.

I argued that in a chronology of incidents relating to the Arab/Israeli situation Carter fails to include anything of any importance happening between 1939 and 1947. The Holocaust is one of the primary events which makes many Israelis and Jews worldwide feel that a Jewish state is an absolute necessity. To write a book trying to advance the cause of peace and ignore this is to show either a total unfamiliarity with the situation or a terribly unbalanced view… or both.

Mr. Sugg says that I “makes much of the fact that Carter's critics are "being silenced" (so obviously untrue that it defies any response).” Could he show me anyplace where I said that? Carter claimed that people with his view were being silenced. I pointed out that he has appeared on every relevant show on television. I did argue that Carter refuses to debate anyone who criticizes his book. If Mr. Sugg could show me that that is wrong, I would appreciate it.

Mr. Sugg then goes on to argue that that I am “an architect of silencing debate” because I supposedly tried to convince C-SPAN “not to air a speech Irving made to a Buckhead audience.” Once again Sugg gets it all wrong. I told C-SPAN that I would neither appear “with” Irving, as they proposed, or wanted my talk paired with his. I do not debate deniers because, as we showed in my 6 year court battle, deniers are, to quote the judge, “liars” and "falsifiers of history.” The “distort” and their version of history is a “travesty.” [Actually the judge was talking about Irving specifically but his comments can be extrapolated to pertain to all deniers.] I observed that C-SPAN had the right to air Irving anytime they want to. I just did not want to be paired with him.

Finally, in his ringing defense of “free speech,” Mr. Sugg ignores the fact that I have been one of the leading critics of laws against Holocaust denial. I criticized Mr. Irving incarceration in Austria and have spoken out forcefully, including on Al Jazeera TV, against the proposed EU legislation against genocide denial. All this is recorded on my blog, Seems that is part of the story too.

Free speech is one thing. Making up facts to fit your argument is what deniers do. I would expect more of John Sugg. I was wrong.


Deborah E. Lipstadt, Ph.D.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Iranian TV coverage of Holocaust denial conference

Check out YouTube for clips from the Iranian Holocaust denial conference. It is startling but not surprising the way in which the truth is thrown out the window in order for those interviews to make the claim that the Holocaust is a myth.

Note also the participation in some of the TV discussion after the conference of Norman Finkelstein and Lady Renouf, David Irving's good "friend" and someone my legal team dubbed Brunhilda for her behavior during the trial.

Voices on Antisemitism: Podcast by United States Holocaust Museum

An interview I did at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is now on their website as part of their Podcast series, Voices on Antisemitism. Other podcasts in the series include interviews with Larry Sommers, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Christopher Caldwell [Editor of The Weekly Standard], and Chris Browning.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Soft core denial aka rewriting history

There is an interesting review of two new books on Leni Riefenstahl in yesterday New York Times by MICHIKO KAKUTANI. Both books take issue with the tendency to rewrite the story of Leni Riefenstahl as one of a poor innocent film maker/artist who was devoted to the pursuit of beauty but was innocently caught up on the Nazi regime.

In fact, as both books stress, she was no innocent.

As Susan Sontag observed in a seminal article in 1975 in New York Review of Books “the purification of Leni Riefenstahl’s reputation of its Nazi dross has been gathering momentum for some time.” Her defenders including many in the "the avant-garde film establishment, " including the Telluride Festival which gave her a major award.

In fact, Riefenstalh adored Hitler and helped shape his regime with her films, most prominently among them Triumph of the Will and Olympia.

According to Kukatani, the two new biographies of Riefenstahl — one by Jürgen Trimborn, a professor of film, theater and art history at the University of Cologne; the other by Steven Bach, the author of biographies of Marlene Dietrich and Moss Hart — "serve as much needed correctives to all the spin, evasions and distortions of the record purveyed by Riefenstahl."

Riefenstahl consistently ignored or denied reports of antisemitism. During a 1938-39 trip to the United States, she claimed that she could not be expected to know about events, even if the rest of the world did. “There are four walls about me” when she was at work, she said, and “it is not possible for me to know what is true” or what is a story.

One of the books [Kukatani does not indicate which] reports that when Paris fell in 1940, Riefenstahl wrote Hitler an ecstatic telegram: “With indescribable joy, deeply moved and filled with burning gratitude, we share with you, my Führer, your and Germany’s greatest victory, the entry of German troops into Paris. You exceed anything human imagination has the power to conceive, achieving deeds without parallel in the history of mankind.”

It's time to see her for what she was: an ardent supporter of Hitler who feigned ignorance of the horrors he committed.

She's dead [she lived to 101 giving truth to the saying "Only the good die young"]. It's up to those who would romantaicize her and rewrite her story to look history in the eye.

This is a form of denial -- not outright denial -- but the soft core variety which, while not denying history, cleanses it or rewrites it. Often soft core denial takes the form of calling Israelis Nazis, Ramallah a "Warsaw ghetto," or Papon a "scapegoat." In this case it is a matter of rewriting a person's past. Riefenstahl might not have killed anyone but she enabled a regime that did so and then she hid behind the mantle of the artiste.

Maybe the Telluride film festival should withdraw the citation it gave her for “exemplary contributions to the art of the film” or, at the least, amend it to read "and for exemplary contributions to her Fuhrer and the Nazi regime."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Former French Prime Minister defends Papon and condemns Jews

The Euroepan Jewish Press reports that former French PM, Raymon Barree has accused the "Jewish Lobby” of making “a scapegoat” of Maurice Papon, the French senior official who signed deportation orders for hundreds of Jews in the Bordeaux region during WWII.

Historian and film director Claude Lanzmann accused Barre of being "an anti-Semite".

Papon, who was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 1998, organized the deportation of hundreds to Nazi extermination camps. The trial lasted six months and, as a result, Papon became the symbolize France’s collaboration with the Nazis.

Barre condemned those who said Papon should have resigned from his post.
“When you have essential responsibilities in a department, a region or even more at the national level, you don’t resign. You only resign when it is truly a question of major national interest.”
Barre's name may not be familiar to readers of this blog. Some, however, will remember his statement in 1980 after Palestinians set off a bomb in a Paris synagogue. Appearing on TV after the attack Barre revealed what some people said were his feelings about just how French French-Jews were:
“This appalling attack was intended to hit Jews on their way to the synagogue, it has hit innocent French people who happened to be in the Rue Copernic”.
In other words, Jews are not French.

During the interview with France Culture, Barre said his words were taken out of context.

"The New Global Antisemitism" Xavier University, Cincinnati

I will be speaking at Xavier University in Cincinnati this coming Sunday.

"The New Global Anti-Semitism"
Speaker: Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt
When: Sunday, 18 March 2007, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Where: Schiff Family Conference Center, Cintas Center

Sunday, March 11, 2007

More on the Armenian genocide and laws against denial

I want to elaborate on my previous post. What if a scholar said: the Turks set out to murder in as brutal a fashion as many Armenians they could lay their hands on in Turkey. What they did was immoral and a crime of major proportions. Furthermore, their failure to acknowledge their terrible wrongdoing and, even more so, their denial of it further compounds their crime.

So far so good.

What then if the scholar went on to say "but I don't think it should be termed a genocide"?

Now we have a problem. Should that person be prosecuted? According to this Swiss court it seems yes. What happens then to academic debate?

This situation reminds me of the debate that once prevailed among scholars of the Holocaust about its uniqueness. More on that later.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Swiss convict Turkish politician for denying Armenian genocide

According to today's New York Times, the Swiss have convicted a Turkish politician of denying the Armenian genocide. I am pretty sure that, given that the guy was a Turkish politician, he was a traditional Armenian genocide denier. These folks are not much different than Holocaust deniers.

However, what if the person had been an historian who, while not denying the barbarity of the Turks towards their Armenian victims, questioned whether it should be termed a genocide? [I, by the way, believe it should be.] The person might take this position because Armenians in other places in the world were safe from the Turks.

Would that person be sentenced as well? What kind of chill does this put on academic discourse? This is a dangerous Pandora's Box.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Laugh or Cry?: An Iranian Children's Show Starring the Mega-Evil-Jewish/Zionist Queen

If it were not implanting in children a view of Jews and Israel that is frightening, this segment from Iranian TV would be simply laughable. But it's not.

Univ. of Colorado student paper

An accurate report of my visit to the University of Colorado

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Another enlightened letter

In response to my letter in the New York Times last Sunday, I received the following enlightened response from Dick Vattimo []:

Re your letter in the NYT---will we ever satisfy you and your kind? how many more guilt trips do you have planned? Israel would not exist if it were not for the US. It is not really a country if you take away our support. Every attempt to bring a sense of reality to the situation is met with cries of anti-Semitism. How convenient, you have managed to mix religion, politics, nationalism and all other things Jewish into a nice neat ball that cannot be criticized. why not make all Jews citizens, give them whatever they want, certainly medical care and social security, good jobs and free education. would that make you happy or do you want even more?

Zionists have taken over our foreign policy and continue to have as their utmost priority the survival and building up of Israel. on the backs of our soldiers and pocket books. If this country is so bad and needs reminding of our past terrible deeds---please leave and go to a better place.

Actually I liked Devil's Kitchen's comments better. Sorry Dick.
Holocaust denial manages to make itself felt in certain university classrooms. Such was the case in Boulder last year. Check out the article in The Denver Post

While I am told that David Irving did not talk about the Holocaust in the class, it is quite interesting that a man who has been declared to be a liar, denier, espouser of racism and antisemitism, and falsifier of history would be invited to speak in a university class.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

A ray of light in the Arab world

Some friends at The Holocaust History Project just alerted me to the blogsite of a young man in Egypt who recently was sentenced to four years in jail for what he wrote about Islam on his blog.

That alone would be a matter of concernt to those who value free speech. But even more noteworthy is his blog itself and the people to whom it is dedicated. It's worth a visit.

[Rather than keep you in suspense, the site is dedicated to the Scholl siblings and their compatriot Christoph Probst, then the father of three children, all of whom were part of the White Rose, the group that worked against the Nazis in Munich.]

There are those who are fighting for his release.

This young man gives us all a ray of hope.

Limmud (NY) Spring Sampler: March 12, 2007

I will be speaking at the Limmud NY event on March 12th in NYC:
Limmud NY Spring Sampler

I will be giving two presentations:
6 p.m. "The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Jewish Life in the 21st Century"

7:45: Reflections on Irving v. Lipstadt: What did this trial accomplish? How do we understand the trial in light of the current resurgence of Holocaust denial? What are the best strategic responses to denial?

Contact Limmud for Information: 212-284-6968,,

Colby College March 7, 2007

I will be appearing at Colby College on Wednesday, March 7th where I will deliver the Lippman Lecture:
In Every Generation They Wish to Destroy Us: Anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism as factors in Jewish history
Wednesday, March 7, 7 p.m.
Pugh Center, Cotter Union

Contact: Joseph Roisman, 859-4163,

Citizenship for Anne Frank: Letter to New York Times

I have a letter in this morning's New York Times elaborating on a statement I made in an earlier story about the effort to give Anne Frank American citizenship.

I made the point that the effort struck me as "pointless," unless it was used to educate about the "paper walls" which surrounded America for Jewish refugees from Germany during the 1930s and 1940s.

The reporter only quoted the first half of my statement and left out the part about "unless it was...."

He was, in fact playing fair, because in the interview I did stress that so many of these actions are taken to make politicians feel good and not for substantive purposes.

For America to "adopt" Anne Frank today, when it turned her and her family away in the 1940s, would right no wrongs.

However, for America to do so as a way of elaborating on how people who faced a terrible fate were treated by this country, so that such wrongs might be prevented in the present and the future would be a useful step.

The letter:
March 4, 2007
Anne Frank, U.S. Citizen? (1 Letter)

To the Editor:

In “A Push for Citizenship for Anne Frank” (news article, Feb. 26), I am quoted as contending that granting honorary citizenship to Anne Frank would be a “pointless” gesture.

During the late 1930s and early ’40s, European Jewish refugees, among them the Frank family, who lived in terribly precarious circumstances, found that there were “paper walls” around America’s shores.

They faced horrendous bureaucratic obstacles, some of which were put in place by our government with the objective of preventing Jews from coming to this country.

If citizenship were granted to Anne Frank simply to make Americans feel good, it would indeed be pointless. But if the gesture were used to educate current and future generations about how America turned its back on these people, it would be an efficacious move.

Deborah E. Lipstadt
Atlanta, Feb. 26, 2007
The writer is a professor of modern Jewish and Holocaust studies at Emory University.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

False historical analogies

My friends and hero, Jamie McCarthy of the The Holocaust History Project, who was the first person to step to my side and offer to do research when David Irving first sued me for libel and who, together with his colleagues at the THHP did yeopeople's work on my case, has reminded me of another false analogy. He was prompted to do so by my interchange with a student about demonizing "liberals" as bad for the Jews.
In August 2006, then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, compared critics of the Iraq war to "appeasers" of pre-World War II who wanted to negotiate with Adolf Hitler.

Rumsfeld accused them of not having learned "history's lessons." He went on to ask:
"Can we truly afford to believe that, somehow or some way, vicious extremists could be appeased?"
Problem is appeasers and those who sought every which way to avoid confrontation with Hitler were conservative Republicans.

They were the same ones who fought most strongly against the doors of this country being opened to Jews trying to flee Hitler's murderous reach.

In a trenchant critique, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, condemns this easy use of Nazi analogies.