San Diego, CA, November 07 2011
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH) calls attention to the activities of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (IAJLJ). It is holding a massive promotional event in Berlin entitled Holocaust Denial and Freedom of Speech in the Internet Era November 15 19 2011
The agenda of the IAJLJ is presented in a string of policy statements posted at IAJLJ. Policies include a defense of Ariel Sharon’s infamous 2000 "Strut through Temple Mount," a demand for the release of convicted spy Pollack, a call for the revocation of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, a denunciation of the Durban World Conference Against Racism, a demand that a human rights conference be canceled because it "will have prominently on its agenda allegations of violations of the human rights of the inhabitants of the Palestinian territories," and a petition accusing UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard of inciting terror with his reference to “the deaths and expulsion of thousands of Palestinian civilians…”
In short, the IAJLJ is especially noteworthy for its brazen hypocrisy in masquerading as a human rights organization while being dedicated to a notorious stand against free speech.
Unfortunately, this group is adept at soliciting governmental officials of good will to participate in its pseudo educational promotional events by touting itself as "a membership organization whose objects are to advance human rights everywhere." In fact, the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists now has the sinister distinction of being the most militant anti-free speech group on earth.
We are a group of historians, scholars and committed lay persons who feel that the up-coming conference in Berlin will only serve as a propaganda tool for restricting free speech and a real exchange of ideas. We understand and can respect the fact that different groups have memories and histories which are sacred to them. We understand that to even question accepted history can be controversial and even offensive to some. It is not our intent to shock or offend or "teach anyone a lesson." But forwarding a living memorial to a particular historical event is one thing, while having the freedom to examine that historical event in the routine way that all other historical events are examined is another.
Unlike the IAJLJ, we encourage the examination of history in the light of day over creating a memorial to any one specific historical event. We hold that it is the right, and the duty, of students and scholars alike to investigate and search for the Truth. The IAJLJ has successfully sold its idea linking Revisionism (referred to as "Denial") with "hate." In nearly every statement on the matter the IAJLJ uses the formula, "Combating Anti-Semitism and the Denial of the Holocaust." From our perspective, the IAJLJ is using dishonest rhetoric and misrepresentations to promote laws against what it sees as blasphemy regarding its memorializing of the orthodox Holocaust story.
The IAJLJ regularly defames Revisionists as “anti-Semites who claim the Holocaust is just Jewish propaganda.” That is not what we at CODOH argue. Briefly, we believe that much of the history we are taught today about the WWII era has been influenced by Soviet, British and American wartime propaganda which exaggerated and exploited real tragedies for the propaganda purposes of the victorious States. This concerns not just Jews but Slavs, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses and, in some versions, Gays. There is considerable research that supports our point of view and it should be inconceivable that anyone should be threatened with prosecution and prison for stating in public that they doubt what they can no longer believe.
We at CODOH want to encourage a progression to an age where governments can no longer pass laws mandating belief in a government-approved historical theory. The one-sided presentation of anti-Revisionist Conferences like the Berlin show have led to Draconian laws against “Denial,” laws that go against our fundamental ideals of free speech and are meant to stifle a free exchange of ideas. All people of good will, and all people who support the right of humans to speak openly about that which they feel important, and the right to dissent from the views of the State or a ruling class, should be concerned by the activities of the IAJLJ.
Bradley Smith, Founder
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH)
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro, California
Telephone: 209 682 5327
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust, founded in 1989, argues that the Holocaust story should not be the preserve of some at the expense of others, but should be open to a free exchange of ideas.
NOTE: This release is being distributed to journalists and free press organizations in Europe and North America.