HARRY MAZAL ON DAVID IRVING
I did do the Christmas letter for 2005. The primary family story this year is that there is a new baby in the house, so it’s the primary story in the Christmas letter. It’s at the printers now. If you’re not on my USPS list, drop me a note with your address and I’ll send it on to you the middle of next week.
I’ve done some more work with The History News Network, the Web site “by historians for historians.” I am allowed full access to the site, am allowed to post wherever I want. It is all very proper. There is no other such place on the Web. By and large, the professors do not want to get involved. What’s in it for them?
One exchange is interesting for who participated in it, and who quit. It reminds me of the time I was a guest on the Bob Grant show and Simon Wiesenthal was on with me. Simon was willing to talk until he found that there was someone on the air with him who was willing to talk back. He hemmed and hawed, stammered this and that, and then hung up the phone. If you disagree with them, they are in agreement: they will not talk to you. That's how the taboo is maintained.
HNN posted a story from the Independent by a Charles Glass titled “David Irving Should be Protected by Free Speech Laws" http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/18799.html. There were a few comments. The one that interests me here is #71990, by Harry Mazal.
Free speech is a two way street (#71990)
by Harry William Mazal on December 4, 2005 at 3:48 PM
[ Harry W. Mazal OBE directs The Holocaust History Project http://www.holocaust-history.org/ ] , a primary resouce for those who want to believe and are outraged by doubt.
Mr. Glass states:
"But my belief in freedom of expression requires me to defend the right of both to speak. Otherwise, what is this free speech I believe in? The freedom to agree?"
One cannot fault that argument.
Curiously enough though, where were many of the defenders of freedom of expression when David Irving sued Professor Deborah Lipstadt for libel in London? She had written a scholarly book that analyzed Holocaust deniers including, but not principally, David Irving. His failed libel lawsuit was nothing more than an attempt to strip Professor Lipstadt of her fundamental right to express herself.
It is almost poetic justice that he should now be facing a long prison term for expressing himself freely. Several years ago he was responsible for Prof. Lipstadt's virtual incarceration - five plus years of preparation for and attendance in the courts - was probably more stressful and debilitating than the same time spent in a prison cell.
By his failed legal action he also forced Prof. Lipstadt and her admirers to invest millions of Pounds Sterling in her defense. Although he was assigned court costs, he has never paid them and indeed boasts at how he was responsible for this huge loss to whom he refers as the "Traditional Enemy".
To argue that justice prevailed and that Irving lost his lawsuit does not give back the years that Professor Lipstadt lost, the pain and suffering that she endured, nor the massive expenses that were incurred in her defense.
It would be apprpropriate if Mr. Irving were freed, but only after he has had to raise millions of Pounds Sterling in his defense and spent years of preparation and attendance in a foreign courtroom.
Freedom of expression is a two way street.
Re: Free speech is a two way street. (#72001)
by Bradley Smith on December 4, 2005 at 9:17 PM
You have it dead wrong. Intellectual freedom is either there for everyone, or it's not there. It's either there everywhere, all the time, or it's not there. The issue today is not that Irving brought a flawed libel action against Lipstadt in the past. And it is not a matter of how much money the Holocaust Industry fronted Lipstadt, or how much she has "suffered."
Intellectual freedom is not a two-way street. It's a one-way street. It promises the same thing to those going in your direction that it promises those going in my direction. All this talk about Irving's character, how much money was spent, and Lipstadt's "suffering," is the commonplace routine of those who believe in intellectual freedom for themselves always, and for others sometimes.
David Irving deserves the protection of free speech laws for exactly the reasons that Deborah Lipstadt deserves them, and you deserve them. That's what is implicit in the ideal, and has been for the last 25-plus centuries.
Re: Free speech is a two way street. (#72098)by Bradley Smith on December 6, 2005 at 2:32 PM
[After a couple days passed with no word from Harry. I made the following observation.]
Sartre wrote somewhere that "every word has an echo -- and every silence." When those who believe the gas-chamber stories are confronted over the right to intellectual freedom for those who do not believe, the echo of their silence is everywhere.
[And that was the end of it. That is usually the end of it. Those who front for the Holocaust Industry do not have it in their hearts to freely exchange ideas with those who are not themselves part of the Industry.]