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Giving cover to anti-semitism
Posted by: McQ on Friday, December 15, 2006

I'm sure many of you were aware of the recently concluded conference in Iran in which Holocaust denial was front and center with a more insidious argument which gave the meeting a veneer of respectability and credibility: freedom of speech.

David Duke:
I believe, sir, that the only way we can know whether there was a Holocaust or the nature of it is freedom of speech. I don't think we should be locking people in prison in Europe, even elderly people in their 80s, because they dare to have a different opinion about an historical event.

The American government shouldn't be saying that the Iran conference — the Iran conference was a conference for freedom of speech. I heard many mainstream Holocaust speakers at this conference, many. This conference allowed freedom of speech on the issue.

So when Tony Blair said, "I had to get someone to go and check twice that they actually invited this — this person who is the former head of the Ku Klux Klan there. I mean, you know, it's just unbelievable."

No Mr. Blair it's not unbelievable. It is a result of the laws Europe has passed and enforced which criminalize what should be free speech and give the dregs of society such as David Duke and others a respectable platform on which to spew their anti-semetic hate and historical revisionism while defending free speech.

The American government and Tony Blair and George Bush should be saying its a disgrace that David Irving, a worldwide historian with books in almost every library in the world, is in prison right now in Austria because he said something the Zionists don't like about the Second World War.
The problem is their argument, which is a proper argument as it concerns freedom of speech, gives cover and credibility conference and its less savory aspects.

What Duke and the others refer too are European laws which make Holocaust denial a crime punishable by imprisonment.

As I wrote back in February:
I obviously find his historical premise ridiculous and seriously question his scholarship, but prison for denying what obviously happened?

No.

He should be treated as a laughingstock and certainly not taken seriously (which seems punishment enough to someone who calls themselves an "historian), but imprisoning him is nothing more than an attempt by the state to control thought. Big Brother in the flesh.

How is that worse than what the regime Irving was writing about did with intellectuals of that era?

It is completely anti-liberty and totally unacceptable and ought to be denounced by everyone who believes that all speech, and especially that which we disagree, should be protected.
Wretchard had similar thoughts at the time which goes precisely to the point I'm making and which Duke's words prove:
These Holocaust Denial laws are the poorest defense of truth possible. They allow individuals like Irving, who have written bad history, to clothe themselves with the appearance of martyrdom. Galileo is supported by empirical evidence. Irving cannot even explain the photographs above. But laws establishing "official truth" create categories of the Unmentionable into which subjects like the Jihad, feminism, abortion and Global Warming — all the assertions, half-truths and humbug of the world — will presently seek refuge. The best defense of the truth of the holocaust is an uncompromising commitment to free speech. Unless free speech is protected then some of the very evils Hitler sought to foist upon the world will be reintroduced in the name of fighting his memory.
So when Tony Blair says, "I had to get someone to go and check twice that they actually invited this — this person who is the former head of the Ku Klux Klan there. I mean, you know, it's just unbelievable," I have to disagree.

It isn't unbelievable at all. It is a result of the anti-liberty suppression of free speech passed by various European nations which has made denial of the undeniable "verboten". And it gives cretins like Duke and Amadenijhad a legitimate platform on which to spew their anti-semitism and political attacks.

What's unbelieveable, frankly, is that people are in prison in modern Europe for saying something disagreeable. Europe needs to reconsider and rescind those laws as quickly as possible and quit giving cover to the racists, bigot and hate-mongers which comprise the Holocaust denial circus.
 
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What’s unbelieveable, frankly, is that people are in prison in modern Europe for saying something disagreeable. Europe needs to reconsider and rescind those laws as quickly as possible and quit giving cover to the racists, bigot and hate-mongers which comprise the Holocaust denial circus.
Agreed. I have said this myself in the past, as has a noted Nazi hunter. No matter how distateful it may be one has to have the strength of ones convictions; either you believe in free speech or you do not.
 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
Whoa, I’m CONFUSED, so you’re telling me that it ISN’T all the Joos’ fault? Someone call Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton.

Unlike here, McQ, several tens of millions of folks did disappear into various camps in Europe. Several European countries lost lots of their citizens to the Nazi’s and the Endlosung. The Holocaust is an emotional issue and the Europeans don’t just consider it another topic for discussion or an alternative view point, I guess.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
It isn’t unbelievable at all. It is a result of the anti-liberty suppression of free speech passed by various European nations which has made denial of the undeniable "verboten"
While I agree concerning the silly European laws, to claim that they are the reason Iran invites David Duke over to deny the Holocaust is beyond silly.

 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
Joe, it is an emotional issue.
I just worry that by driving a lot of the anti-semites underground we are actually empowering them by making them attractive to a certain mindset. It seems common these days that if person A has something controversial to say and person B, in authority, tries to stop them saying it it leads people to wonder whether person A might be right about something. Conspiracy theories are attractive; just ask the Daily Express readers over here about the death of princess Diana.

It’s not an easy answer though. There was genuine (and real) fear in Europe that something akin to the Holocaust could happen again, hence the raft of laws to prevent deniers from spreading their lies in some countries (notably Austria). the question is, has enough time passed and have we learned enough from that despicable bit of history to do away with those draconian and repressive laws?

Are we at the stage where they do more damage than good? I think we might be.
 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
Kav, my take is that on the whole, the laws ARE bad, for two reasons. One the philosphical reason that you and McQ bring up, Free Speech is, in and of itself, a POSITIVE Good. And secondly, by givng coverage to Jews it prompts others to want equivalent coverage, Muslims, the Religious in general, Gays, Trade Unions, whoever...and so by disallowing SOME objectionable speech, it makes it easier to disallow ALL or LOTS of objectionable speech.

I was just pointing out that the Holocaust and the Nazi depredations occured IN Europe and so one could understand why Europeans might not see the Nazi era as merely an academic interest.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
What davebo said.

The laws in Europe criminalizing Holocaust denial are indeed wrong and stupid. But they of themselves do not cause thugs like Ahmadinejad to invite filth like David Duke to their parties. David Duke hates Jews and he’d eagerly assist Ahmadinejad’s plans for Holocaust II even if he were free, as he should be, to sing love songs to Hitler in Brussels and Berlin.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Joe, fair enough.

Davebo:
While I agree concerning the silly European laws, to claim that they are the reason Iran invites David Duke over to deny the Holocaust is beyond silly
Linda:
But they of themselves do not cause thugs like Ahmadinejad to invite filth like David Duke to their parties.
I understand and think you are right to say that repealing the laws would not stop this example of stupidness. The thing is, would Duke and his ilk, be as newsworthy and would an event like this conference have gained much play if the subject was not taboo for so many people?

At the moment folk like that can point to how persecuted they are for their views and it make news. At the same time the nutjob in Iran can convene this conference and trumpet to the world how he is providing a platform for free thinkers away from their opressive regimes. Perhaps without the free-speech suppression back-drop this event would have been a non-event in the eyes of the world. Maybe not. I don’t know.
 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
But they of themselves do not cause thugs like Ahmadinejad to invite filth like David Duke to their parties.
No, they don’t ... but they give such events a cover to which they can appeal and will, unfortunately, legitimize the event to some who would otherwise ignore it or denounce it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Kav:
Perhaps without the free-speech suppression back-drop this event would have been a non-event in the eyes of the world.
Heck, Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and repeated declarations of intent to destroy Israel – and America – are practically non-events in the eyes of the world. It’s surprising Ahmadinejad’s latest effort to refute the meticulously documented destruction of European Jewry raised the first eyebrow, even with David Duke on board as the star freak of the whole sideshow.

Laws against denying the Holocaust should be repealed because they are wrong, not because they give David Duke something to piss and moan about when 10,000 microphones are shoved in his face.

McQ:
[European laws forbidding Holocaust denial] give such events a cover to which they can appeal and will, unfortunately, legitimize the event to some who would otherwise ignore it or denounce it.
Ignoring Amadinejad’s antics is foolhardy in the extreme. Having to worry about mouth-breathers who can’t decide whether Holocaust denial is vicious lying or heroic free-speechifying is an absurd shame.

 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
And in celebration of free speech in this country...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,236680,00.html
An artist who was forced to remove his Nazi gingerbread men from the window of a hardware store has set up the display in an empty storefront in another town.

"The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men" depicts a small gathering at a Nazi rally. Keith McGuckin set up the display in this northeastern Ohio city Thursday night, a day before the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins at sundown.

The owner of a hardware store in nearby Oberlin made McGuckin remove the display last month after getting complaints.
It’s about as insensitive as "The Producers"
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://inactivist.org/blog/keith_indy
Ignoring Amadinejad’s antics is foolhardy in the extreme. Having to worry about mouth-breathers who can’t decide whether Holocaust denial is vicious lying or heroic free-speechifying is an absurd shame.
Unfortunately it is, in many cases, the mouth-breathers who strap on the bomb vests or drive the bomb-laden cars into markets (or airplanes into buildings), who we do indeed have to worry about.

The point is, the less cover given the more cleanly this sort of thing can be properly denounced. However, when you’re stuck agreeing that yes, there is a credible argument for free speech among the filth and garbage, the "but this Holocaust denial is a load of manure" loses some of it’s sting.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
And in celebration of free speech in this country...
Free speech, as I recall, has to do with the government banning it, not the private owner of a store telling a guy to find another place for his display. Am I missing something here?

He’s setting it up in another place with permission, right? How has he been denied his right to free speech?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ:
Unfortunately it is, in many cases, the mouth-breathers who strap on the bomb vests or drive the bomb-laden cars into markets (or airplanes into buildings), who we do indeed have to worry about.
Your average murderous Islamist suicide bombers aren’t primarily concerned with issues of free speech as debated and legislated in the West, and they won’t be stopped with European laws that punish free speech.
The point is, the less cover given the more cleanly this sort of thing can be properly denounced. However, when you’re stuck agreeing that yes, there is a credible argument for free speech among the filth and garbage, the "but this Holocaust denial is a load of manure" loses some of it’s sting.
I don’t consider myself “stuck” in understanding that, irrespective of David Duke’s pronouncements on the matter, it is wrong to throw people in jail solely because they say or write that Jews were not systematically and purposively murdered in Europe in WWII.

Simultaneously, I maintain, as “cleanly” and “properly” as I can, that David Duke and all others who trot out blatant nonsense in the effort to persuade others that the Holocaust did not happen are stupid, hate-filled scum pimping travesties of scholarship, their braying about free speech notwithstanding.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Your average murderous Islamist suicide bombers aren’t primarily concerned with issues of free speech as debated and legislated in the West, and they won’t be stopped with European laws that punish free speech.
I never said they were. I said the issue gives a veneer of legitimacy to an otherwise illegitimate topic. "If they’re right about the free speech aspect, as even their enemies acknowledge, well then ...".
I don’t consider myself “stuck” in understanding that, irrespective of David Duke’s pronouncements on the matter, it is wrong to throw people in jail solely because they say or write that Jews were not systematically and purposively murdered in Europe in WWII.
You’re not the one for whom the separation has to occur and it provides a convenient way to change the subject for those engaged in the denial. Read the Duke interview for heaven sake. What every one of these wackos do is argue the free speech aspect and then say people should have the liberty to explore the subject.

That is hard to argue against and it provides a distraction from the real issue, just as it is hard to argue that Iran is a tyrannical state which puts people in jail based on their beliefs or politics when David Irving sits in jail.
Simultaneously, I maintain, as “cleanly” and “properly” as I can, that David Duke and all others who trot out blatant nonsense in the effort to persuade others that the Holocaust did not happen are stupid, hate-filled scum pimping travesties of scholarship, their braying about free speech notwithstanding.
You can maintain that all day long, but the fact remains that they’re right about the free speech aspect and most people know it. And that "clouds" the issue.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If there are people somewhere who are (a) sane and amenable to reason, yet at the same time also (b) sitting on the fence regarding the whole Holocaust thing, then maybe the free speech concerns David Duke has raised in support of Amadinejad and Company do indeed cloud the issue for them. And we might just as well write them off. They’re idiots.

Respecting the born-for-Jihad Islamists for whom Amadinejad’s conference was yet another pep rally, David Irving’s fate will have little to no impact on their lust to kill Jews.

By all means, laws that ban Holocaust denial should be repealed. Not because they’ve brought on wacko conferences in Iran — they haven’t — but because they wrongly abridge free speech. But even while these bad European laws stand, any of us is still right to condemn Holocaust denial anywhere for the evil nonsense it is. Leastwise, I don’t consider my moral authority on this matter compromised by some law in Austria. And I wouldn’t even if I lived in Austria.

One need not be perfect or live in a perfect society in order to justifiably condemn outright evil. And yes, again, the laws are wrong, but their repeal will do nothing to deter people for whom denying the Holocaust is just one more step down the road to destroying Israel and the Jews who live there.



 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
One of the major reasons for the Holocaust Denial laws in Europe is in fact to squelch debate in the area. Many of the countries of Europe were complicit in rounding up the Jews for transport to the death camps. This was especially true in Hungary, Rumania, and even France.

Much of Europe desires to forget World War Two for very good reason. France suffered an ignoble defeat at the hands of the Germans and much of France was under German occupation for almost as long a period as the US was even at war. Every nation in Europe had troops serving under the Swastika as volunteers. Most as volunteers who served in SS units. Yeah, that SS. France had the equivilent of two SS divisions mostly serving on the Eastern Front. So it is in the Europeans interest to sweep much of that period under the rug, even the Holocaust.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Finally caught my stupid copy edit error.
Your average murderous Islamist suicide bombers aren’t primarily concerned with issues of free speech as debated and legislated in the West, and they won’t be stopped with European laws that punish free speech.
Should read:
… and they won’t be stopped with repeal of European laws that punish free speech.
Oy!
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
...and they won’t be stopped with repeal of European laws that punish free speech.
Again no one is claiming they will be. What will be stopped, however, is the cover they give them right now.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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