Posted Friday, January 18, 2002

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We have to balance freedom of speech with the level of concern and security problems. We are discussing this with the police. -- Nottingham University officials

Friday, January 25, 2002


Police consulted over security concerns for meeting

Students are urged not to extend Irving invitation

by Bernard Josephs

NOTTINGHAM University officials and Jewish students were consulting police this week over potential security implications if the student union follows through with plans to invite Holocaust revisionist David Irving to address its debating society.

In the spotlight: David Irving during his High Court libel action against American academic Deborah Lipstadt (File photo: JOHN NATHAN)

The consultations came as pressure mounted on both the university and student leaders to cancel the meeting, at which Mr. Irving would speak on "The difficulty of writing the history of the Third Reich."

Protests came from the Board of Deputies, the Nottingham-based Beth Shalom Holocaust study centre, the Holocaust Educational Trust and Nottingham Hebrew Congregation's Rabbi Moshe Perez.

Beth Shalom director Dr James Smith said that the student union "should be ashamed."

In a letter to the union, Board director-general Neville Nagler declared that the "only people who would derive any benefit from such a meeting are those who share Irving's twisted view of history." An HET spokesperson voiced "astonishment" that the students would want "to open their doors to a man who calls the Holocaust a fraud."

Rabbi Perez told the JC of his concern that inviting Mr. Irving would "destroy the good relations which we have built between all kinds of people in Nottingham."

A university spokesman said it would "not wish to override" union plans. "We have to balance freedom of speech with the level of concern and security problems. We are discussing this with the police," he said. Student union general secretary Jim Vine said that the union had been involved in "informal talks" with Mr. Irving over the event.

But he said that no "formal invitation" had yet been issued


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Jan 18: Jewish students oppose plan for Nottingham meeting | Irving's "freedom"
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