Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Kaplan writes from Israel,
Tuesday, March 7, 2000
Support from an Israeli for the reporting by "FAZ", and criticisms of this site's policy
You apparently much dislike Mrs. [Eva] Menasse's reports in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. You perceive them as being untruthful and vicious. You invite readers to send their protests to Mrs. Menasse and to her editor.
A journalist who does not report as he should is not a serious journalist, and as such he shouldn't continue writing in serious newspapers, should he? If some Jewish group had uttered "suggestions" to similar actions against you, you would have termed it an international campaign of the traditional enemies of free speech to silence you.
Your suggestion's goal is to intimidate Mrs. Menasse; it says to Mrs. Menasse: "You either write what Mr. Irving perceives as being the truth or your reputation will be challenged in your own redaction".
I don't say you are not entitled to protest against what you think to be untrue and damaging to you, and I don't say you are not entitled to choose any ways of doing this which you deem appropriate. But I do say that to combat one thing when it is directed against you and to do this very thing when it suits your interests may be termed as Verlogenheit". I think you should add your name to the list of the traditional enemies of free speech".
David Irving replies:
You will notice that I have asked readers to compare what Menasse writes with the Wortlautprotokoll. And IF they disagree, to send a comment to her editor. That seems fair. I would be happy if people gave me the same kind of hearing.
Kaplan responds, Tuesday, March 7, 2000:
I haven't seen any invitation to the reader to compare the report with the transcripts and only then to send a complaint in the case of Mrs. Menasse's articles of February 24, March 2 and March 3. But the point isn't only this.
You display on your website articles, you give your opinion on them ("Cesspit section", "vicious", "verlogen" etc.), and then you invite the reader to send a comment to the editor - the reader hasn't a difficult task to guess what kind of a comment you suggest him to send. It is true, you often explicitly invite him first to make up his mind by checking out the journalist's report against the pretty long, detailed and difficult transcripts, and then to send his comment.
If the ADL or some other organisation had displayed, on her website or elsewhere, texts from your books or speeches; had joined to them a comment such as "Holocaust-Denial"; had invited the readers to compare your conclusions and the pieces of information you give with the original documents and with a large bibliography on the subject; and had suggested to them to write to your publishers in order to draw their attention to the fact that you are a Holocaust-Denier: wouldn't you have termed this an attempt to organise action in order to damage your interests ?
In my mind this IS a campaign, even if the reader is invited first to "make up his mind". Let's be honest, Mr. Irving. It is, I think, fair to assume that very few people who may have written to the FAZ in your sense actually have read the transcripts.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think that the persons who will act in your sense and complain at the FAZ will be rather those who from the start will more or less share your perceptions and ideas about World War Two; or those for whom your views are authoritative.
In the ADL example, it would be quite similar. A survivor from Auschwitz will probably react positively to the ADL's suggestion; his son possibly too; many others perhaps too. But the fact that your views are marginal and the ADL's are not doesn't play a role here, does it ? The point is not how many people you can attract and mobilise, but the initiative itself.
That is the reason why I don't see any qualitative difference between the ADL example and your attempt to have others discredit Mrs. Menasse.
Having said all that, I would like to reiterate the following: In my view neither the campaigns against you nor yours against Mrs. Menasse specifically are illegitimate. But you cannot condemn the one and endorse the other.
Dan McGuire disagrees with Oron Kaplan:
I think you are wrong in your assumption that visitors to Mr Irving's website do not check the transcripts before writing letters to editors of various journals reporting on the trial. I have written two letters and each time I weighed the validity of the reporting against the actual transcripts of the proceedings, and I consider myself an average reader of Mr Irving's website.
Perhaps that is one of the essential differences though between Irving supporters and Lipstadt defenders. Mr Irving and his supporters value the integrity of historical facts; Lipstadt and her ilk imbue their history with an element of religiosity which we are all expected to believe -- and to worship. For Zionists, the history of WWII is a matter of faith closed to debate. If it ended there, fine; there are many religions that stand against historical reality. But the holocaust also serves as a political and economic weapon in the sense that it is used to extort favors and gifts for Israel and for International Jewry.
Face it, the holocaust industry has made Israel a very rich nation at the expense of non-Jews. And if Mr Irving exposes the holocaust Zionists have much to lose apart from any claim to historical truth. They'll lose billions of dollars in aid and in reparations payments from their Christian benefactors.
Your comparison of Mr Irving's attempts to encourage factual reporting by Miss Menasse to International Jewry's successes in blacklisting Mr Irving is odious. Mr Irving is simply trying to get Miss Menasse to report truthfully on the trial, whereas International Jewry is out to silence Mr Irving because his dogged pursuit of truth threatens so much of what holds Jews together these days, spiritually, politically, and financially.
I realize that this must be a difficult time for you and other Jews, i.e. to face history honestly and admit that so much of what you believe is utterly false. And I also understand the ancient impulse to kill the messenger, in this case Mr Irving, when one does not welcome the message, here that the Hollywood Holocaust is phoney-baloney. But you Jews cannot go on indefinitely believing a false history because truth always has a way of coming around, no matter how forcefully it is suppressed.
It took only one champion of truth, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, to bring down a totalitarian regime built on lies. The smart money here is on Mr Irving, no matter how many more libels Lipstadt authors and no matter how many more Schindler's Lists Mr Spielberg films. The jig is up.
Best of luck in the future,