Documents on the Fight to Preserve the Right to Free Speech

OPERATING hand in glove with similar agencies in foreign countries, the League of Human Rights of the B’nai Brith Canada began clandestine methods in 1989 to destroy free speech of historians and journalists whose views it found detrimental to its cause. After they successfully pressured OISE [see below] to cancel its lecture theatre for David Irving in November 1990, the historian booked and paid in advance for the big hall at Toronto's Lakeshore Inn. The next day, the day of the function, the B'nai Brith sent this libellous letter, packed with lies, and ending with a veiled threat of violence, to the hotel's manager. He had no choice but to violate the contract, at the last minute, turning off the electric power and calling the RCMP to evict the 400-strong audience of Canadians who had gathered. Mr Irving delivered his lecture in the Latvian Hall that night, without incident. The threat of violence remained an empty bluff.

NOV 08 '90      B'NAI BRITH CANADA 710 P02

League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada

15 Hove Street/Rue Hove, 15, Downsview, Ontario M3H 4Y8 (416) 633-6227

November 8, 1990

Jim Moats
Lakeshore Inn
2000 Lakeshore Blvd. W.
Toronto, Ontario

Dear Mr. Moats:

The League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada is a national agency that is dedicated to combatting racism and bigotry. The objectives of the League include human rights for all Canadians, improved community relations, and the elimination of racial discrimination and anti-Semitism. The League accomplishes these goals through educational programming, community activity and the provision of legal/legislative action.

It has came to our attention that your building will be the venue for a speech by Holocaust denier David Irving this evening. Mr. Irving and his sponsoring organization, the Council on Public Affairs sought your facility after the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education rightfully cancelled his engagement. Their decision was uphold In Court by Justice Hollingsworth on November 7, 1990.

Mr. Irving is a purveyor of racism and anti-Semitism under the guise of academic discourse. He denies that the atrocities perpetrated against Jews by the Nazis during the Second World War ever took place. His statements cast aspirations on the Jewish community.

Other purveyors of this ideology have been found guilty for promoting false information and hatred. Mr. Irving's theories are repugnant and emanate from an individual with no historical credentials. Holocaust denial is a vehicle to remove the guilt associated with genocide and is a device to foster the return of Nazism.

While we understand that it is difficult for a proprietor to be aware of every notorious hatemonger it is imperative that you join other institutions by categorically denying him a platform to spread his message.

It is your responsibility, as a citizen of Canada, to ensure that messages likely to cause hatred are not given a wide audience. This is not a matter of free expression or contractual obligations so recent Court decisions have indicated.

Mr. Justice Hollingsworth described Irving as "a magnet for controversy likely to cause violence". You should be aware that many groups find Mr. Irving's statements to be so vile that protests are likely and confrontation may ensue.

We hope that you will rescind the agreement to host Mr. Irving which will ultimately serve the best interests of society. We look forward to your response to our request.


Lorne Shipman
Ontario Regional Director

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