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Posted Friday, October 12, 2007

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David Irving was, he said, totally bored, as are most people, by the word 'Holocaust'. The Holocaust is being marketed as a trade product and used as a fundraising weapon.

The Jewish Chronicle
London, Friday, October 12, 2007 7:08 PM

National News

Oxford invites Irving for 'free speech' debate

By Rachel Fletcher

David Irving on Trial in ViennaHOLOCAUST-DENIER David Irving and the British National Party's Nick Griffin have been approached by the Oxford Union debating society to discuss appearing next month.

The Oxford Union -- distinct from the Oxford Students' Union -- said it was a "possibility" that the men might appear, but stopped short of calling it an invitation. The final line-up for the November 26 [2007] event, a debate on free speech, is unconfirmed.

Luke Tryl, OU president, stressed that he found the views of both men to be "abhorrent and appalling", but added: "I want them to be challenged. The worst thing you can do to people like this is to force them underground.

"I think it helps his cause when David Irving says he keeps getting banned."

Stressing that the debate is to be about free speech, Mr Tryl said: "I am not giving Nick Griffin a platform to be racist, or David Irving a platform to deny the Holocaust. The only way to win the battle with these people is to show their views to be ridiculous and stupid."

Oxford Jewish Society presidents Daniel Bloch and Steven Altmann-Richer said the society would be making an official complaint.

"It will be a disgrace if these discredited speakers are allowed a platform at a forum on free speech. It will certainly go down as a black mark on the reputation of the Oxford Union Society."

Vernon Bogdanor, professor of government at Oxford [see link below], said the approach to the men was "deeply regrettable".

"David Irving was shown in court to be a bogus academic who distorted and invented quotations for his own purposes, with the political agenda of rehabilitating the Nazis.

"Nick Griffin leads a party which in my view encourages racial hatred.

"There is a case for the Union to debate the limits of free speech, but they are the exhibitors of the limit, rather than the contributors. It is bound to give them a legitimacy they should not have."

The Oxford Students' Union, which has a "no platform" policy for racists and fascists, is holding an emergency meeting today (Friday) to discuss its official stance on the subject.

President Martin McCluskey, who said about 75 per cent of Oxford students were members of the Union, declared: "It appalls me that our fees could be spent on hospitality for Holocaust-deniers."

The Union is courting more controversy with its debate on October 23: "This House believes that one state is the only solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict." Proposing the motion are two left-wing Israelis, Avi Shlaim and Ilan Pappe, and Palestinian writer Ghada Karmi, while opposing them will be gay-rights activist Peter Tatchell, Northern Irish politician Lord Trimble, and the US political scientist Norman Finkelstein, (above) who recently lost tenure at Chicago's De Paul University amid a row over his views on the Holocaust.

This week, David Irving announced a date for the Birmingham leg of his proposed national speaking tour -- October 26 -- and added that he would be speaking in Liverpool, which is hosting next year's Holocaust Memorial Day, on November 23.

He was, he said, "totally bored, as are most people, by the word 'Holocaust'. The Holocaust is being marketed as a trade product and used as a fundraising weapon.

"I'm going to be speaking in almost every UK city over the next few months. Liverpool was the next one that came up with an available venue."

A Liverpool City Council spokesman said: "David Irving is a fanciful and completely discredited individual who holds very offensive views. I believe the majority of people in Liverpool have the wherewithal to view this as the distasteful publicity stunt it is."


Jewish Chronicle expresses Outrage of Traditional Enemies of Free Speech at David Irving's UK tour: pulling out all the stops to get the meetings banned and cancelled | Its leader-writer gets tangled in a twist: "Freedom of speech is one of the principles our society holds most dear. ... That is why we urge any public-hall booking clerk, university administrator or private landlord to refuse to give Irving a platform"
David Irving's Books
The Deborah Lipstadt Libel action
Divided loyalties - Board of Deputies of "British Jews" demanded of the Austrian ambassador in 1992 that his country imprison British historian David Irving
David Irving: A Radical's Diary: On The Forward interview on the Holocaust, and the interesting "Mel Gibson" theory that Jews have been behind many of last century's wars | Jewish Telegraph Agency blurts out: George W Bush's Pro-'surge' group in Iraq is almost all Jewish - Coincidence, says one, "half of the donors contributing to its $15 million ad campaign are not Jewish" - and most of the GIs, too
David Irving: A Radical's Diary: Hysterical efforts by the don't-debate-them, anti-free speech gang meet some success
A November 2001 article by Bruce Hyman for the London Evening Standard
Jewish Chronicle: Barrister-journalist who smeared David Irving after Lipstadt Trial is jailed for fraud
Vernon Bogdanor reviewed David Irving's "Churchill's War", vol. ii: "Triumph in Adversity" -- and got it wrong. [Tip: also use our search engine and search for "Bogdanor"]
Front Page magazine sneers- The Passion of Norman Finkelstein | Playing hardball - Finkelstein deal ends DePaul University tiff | AWPOW: Are we powerful or what? DePaul University pulls the plug on Professor Norman Finkelstein's final year | Norman Finkelstein's fine Eulogy on a Real Historian, Raul Hilberg: he settles some scores too | Hilberg, the Holocaust scholar who was hard on the Jews

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