Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sacred History and Copyright Violation

1243 West 7th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V6H 1B7 Canada
Phone: 604.736.9401
Fax: 604.737.6021

16 December 2010

For Publication.

We read of the blacklisting of your magazine with a bitter sympathy. It is particularly ironic since the United Nations is spending $120,000,000 to: "... remind the world of the lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide."

While your magazine has many thought provoking articles on the pernicious effects of advertising on our society, a cardinal point in the blacklisting campaign against Adbusters is that in this instance history itself has become a publicity stunt.

This blacklisting raises interesting questions about the role of history in society. History is a story we believe is true. Some history achieves the status of a political icon. Some history achieves a sacred status. Governments know this and manipulate history for their own benefit. As George Santayana noted – "History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten."

Your article on the Gaza Strip is what is called "Holocaust Inversion" by people who consider the orthodox Holocaust story as "sacred." People like Robert S Wistrich in his paper "Holocaust Denial and Inversion," and Esther Webman with her "Stealing the Holocaust from the Jews?" who spoke at the November HETI International Conference on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, partially funded by the United Nations Outreach Programme.

"Never Again," the article you published by Saeed David Mohammad and that precipitated this censorship issue, is a thoughtful piece that respects Holocaust history. There is no hate expressed in his article. The problem arises when it is viewed by those who view Holocaust history as "sacred," not to be questioned in any way. In short, Mr. Mohammad committed a "trespass" on the sacred history of others, a copyright violation if you will.

Revisionists have found that the first casualty of war is Truth. We have found that much of the history we are taught today about WWII was originally influenced by Soviet, British and American wartime propaganda which exaggerated and exploited the real tragedies of real people for propaganda purposes serving the State. This concerns not just Jews but Slavs, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses and, in some versions, Gays.

The point here is not to justify past crimes on the part of anyone, but to understand that special interests, including the State, manipulate the historical record to further their own interests. The manipulation of historical icons has gotten us into very deep trouble. George Bush's campaign against the "Axis of Evil" is only one recent example.

We have a choice. We can exploit what has become a rather cheap array of historical icons to judge the actions of others, or we can put our trust in a free exchange of ideas to reach an understanding of the historical situation in which we find ourselves.

History should be as accurate and as fair as humans can make it. At the same time, if there is one lesson in particular to be learned from the horrors of World War II, it is that our sympathies should be with the poor and the oppressed, and that we should struggle against censorship and oppression – realizing that censorship is itself oppression. In this we think that Adbusters got it right, and that the Canadian Jewish Committee got it very wrong.

Bradley Smith
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An Epistle to the Iranians

NOTE: This letter was copied to: Iranian embassies in Ottawa and Dublin, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Institute for Political and International Studies

Bradley R. Smith
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro, CA 92143

08 December 2010

The Honorable Mohammad Khazaee,
Permanent Representative of the Mission of
The Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
622 Third Ave.
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 687-2020 / Fax: (212) 867-7086

As you are aware, on November 7 to 9 some 250 politicians and experts from 53 countries gathered in Ottawa for the 2010 Conference on Combating Antisemitism. Sponsored by the government of Canada and organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (ICCA), the conference was billed as the world’s largest gathering of delegates dedicated to eradicating "the age-old hatred."

The keynote speaker was Elie Wiesel. Wiesel pleaded that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be arrested and charged with incitement for crimes against humanity. He argued that laws should be adopted in their respective parliaments declaring anti-Semitism a hate crime punishable by imprisonment, as well as laws declaring suicide bombing to be a crime against humanity.

Wiesel told the parliamentarians: "We need you to tell us by your actions and your behavior that my fear is unfounded and that our message [that of the survivor 'eyewitnesses'] has not gone unheeded."

Currently Iran is the target of a massive propaganda campaign in Ottawa, in Dublin, in New York. One goal appears to be to promote the destruction of the Iranian military and the Iranian economy. A primary tool used to morally legitimate these goals is the UN Holocaust Outreach Program. The original Program was created at the request of the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 60/7, adopted on 1 November 2005.

Originally, the Program may have had a laudable purpose, but it has been twisted into a program to attack Islam, to attack Iran, and to promote the censorship, blacklisting and jailing of Holocaust revisionist scholars.

The plan is as simple as it is devious. Organize a conference on the politically popular topic of fighting anti-Semitism and Hate. Invite governmental officials to speak. Have the press ready to write a panegyric. Smear Islam. Agitate for aggressive measures against Iran. Promote censorship.

One example of all this is the Holocaust Education Trust of Ireland International "Conference on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial" held in Dublin this November. It would have been a propaganda coup, except for Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust. Working with a very small staff of volunteers we did much to call attention to this showcase of propaganda.

The fundamental hypocrisy of holding a conference on Iran without a representative of Iran being invited to speak is breathtaking. Holding a conference on Holocaust “Denial” without a Holocaust revisionist being invited to speak, or even being allowed to attend as an audience member, is disgusting. The hypocrisy of publicly attacking Islam without allowing an Islamic voice to be heard is unconscionable. The question of an honest and open debate on Iran, Revisionism, and Islam is not what the organizers at HETI wanted, no matter that the Conference was sponsored by the United Nations itself.

I am the founder of Committee for Open Debate of the Holocaust. I spoke at the 2006 Tehran Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust. I asked permission to attend the HETI conference, to perhaps deliver a short paper comparing the Iranian and the Israeli attitudes toward the matter of intellectual freedom and a free exchange of ideas regarding the Holocaust question.

Unfortunately, the Conference organizers did not want to associate itself with any question that might possibly place Iran in a better light than Israel on the Holocaust question.

CODOH is reaching out to you on this important issue. We encourage a free exchange of ideas throughout the UN, not the suppression of such an exchange as occurred at the HETI Conference. We need your help to turn the United Nations Holocaust Outreach Program around, to make it a program that is dedicated to reaching out to all, not to those beholden only to special interests.

We encourage you to help now! Each day that hateful propaganda, such as that which was produced at the HETI Conference, is not responded to, the possibility increases that bombs will soon begin to fall on Iranian women and children And finally, it is damaging to the UN itself to be associated with, much less subsidize, this level of dishonest special pleading.

For the sake of peace in the Middle East, and to honor and fulfill the authentic intent of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Rights --

Contact us.

Bradley Smith, Founder
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro, CA 92143

Telephone: 209 682 5327

Full text of my presentation at the 2006 Tehran Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust see:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Joe Lieberman Channels Dov Hikind

Maybe the tendency to suppress information runs in "families."

Senator Joe Lieberman (?-Conn.) has proudly pressured to stop hosting a Web site of Wikileaks, now that Wikileaks has outed some 250,000 previously secret cables from and to the United States diplomatic apparatus.

Dov Hikind, Democrat New York State Assemblyman from Borough Park, Brooklyn has sought global notoriety in a number of ways, on this site most-notably for arranging to deny author and historian David Irving the means of accepting payments by credit card or PayPal last year.

I predict a joining of the evil forces of abuses of office displayed by the senator from Connecticut and the assemblyman from Borough Park. It is, of course, still possible to visit the Web site of Wikileaks, to read the diplomatic cables that Lieberman got Amazon to stop hosting, and to donate to Wikileaks by PayPal and an assortment of other on-line facilities (and I just did so, under my real name). For that matter, it's possible to do all this with David Irving, I'm glad to report.

Maybe Dov will show Joe how to thwart voluntary donations to Wikileaks, too. Maybe Joe will show Dov how to get Web sites that displease him de-hosted.

Unfortunately certain kinds of people are better than others at working together than the rest of us. It's why they're strong, and why we're weak.

Letter to the Irish Independent re the Dublin Holocaust Denial Conference

NOTE: This letter was copied to the Irish print and Online press.

The Irish Independent
Independent House
27 - 32 Talbot Street
Dublin 1. Ireland

Telephone: +353 (0)1 705 5333

Subject: Conference on Holocaust Denial

For Publication

01 December 2010

Hello from California-

I am writing in response to Ms. Hilary White's article Specter of Nazi death Camps Casts a Long Shadow published Sunday November 28 2010 in The Independent, treating with the Conference on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial held at Trinity College. I am a Revisionist and asked to attend the conference. Unfortunately I, along with several other Revisionists, was denied permission to even attend to listen to the speakers at this Conference. Expressing Revisionist views is a felony in many countries and I wanted to learn more about why my views are treated as a new blasphemy punishable by up to 5 years in jail.

I would like to comment on Ms. White's statement that, "The conference 'Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial: New Perspectives' aimed to get minds moving through reasoned discourse."

Is Ms. White aware that Deniers were banned from this Conference on Denial and that several Conference speakers have themselves supported and even advocated criminalization of Denial as a thought crime? Would Ms. White argue that these are reasonable or even sane methods to get minds moving through a reasoned discourse?

Ms. White, conflating anti-Semitism with Holocaust denial, as does the Conference itself, writes that Holocaust denial is a "contaminant." Contaminant?

I beg Ms. White's pardon, but that doesn't sound like a desire for reasoned discourse to me. Holocaust revisionism is not about Israel or anti-Semitism. Revisionism is a process; one of reviewing the received history of the Holocaust in the routine way that all other historical issues are reviewed. George Santayana wrote -- History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten.

This is particularly true in times of war. Revisionists point out that Truth is oftentimes the first causality of war. For anyone who follows the history of the Holocaust it is plain that this history is being revised even as deniers are being imprisoned. Further scholarship and research on the Holocaust should be encouraged, not discouraged and repressed by taboo and the threat of imprisonment.

There were important questions to be discussed at this Conference relating to history, free speech, minority access to public forums, and peaceful relations with Iranian and other Islamic peoples. Unfortunately, it looks like the Conference deliberately missed an opportunity to get minds moving with new ideas or an honest discussion either one.

Sincerely yours,

David Merlin

Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust

For a Denier Blog on this subject-