Respectful Insolence

Until the other day, it had been a long time since I had indulged my interest in World War II history. Not surprisingly, a certain anti-Semitic troll appeared out of the woodwork, thus amazing me with persistence, given that it’s been at least two months since I’ve even mentioned the topic. That’s a long time to have to wait for an opportunity to leap into the comments here and rail against “Jews” and Zionists while I’ve been dishing out the usual commentary on alternative medicine, science, clinical trials,

Since he/she/it’s here again, I thought I’d mention a story that’s cropped up over the last week that I found out about via History on Trial. Did you know that it’s possible for Holocaust deniers to get research grants to study Nazi history, presumably in order to churn out more Holocaust denial? It’s true. It happened recently in, of all places, Denmark:

Danish Holocaust denier obtained government funding for his studies on the involvement of Danes in Hitler’s SS, the Danish newspaper Information revealed yesterday.

The paper reported that Erik Haaest received grants totaling 100,000 Danish krone from the Danish Arts Council, a government-funded body, in 2004 and 2006.

In a conversation with the Danish paper earlier this week, Haaest called Anne Frank’s diary a “forgery” and refused to renounce earlier publications in which he wrote that the gas chambers never existed and that the number of Jews who died in the Holocaust has been greatly exaggerated.

Now, the fact that a Holocaust denier got a grant from the Danish government to study the Holocaust could just be a typical bureaucratic snafu, a mistake. That Haaest got financial support from Denmark to support his “scholarly pursuits” isn’t necessarily in and of itself disturbing. What was disturbing was the reaction of the Danish Arts Council to the intense criticism of its award:

The Arts Council said in response that it does not deal in censorship and “it is not our job to judge [people's] opinions.”

This is a beautiful example of being so open-minded that your brains fall out. Here’s an analogy to demonstrate the vapidness of this response. What if a young earth creationist somehow got a grant from the National Science Foundation to study evolution? What if, when criticized for awarding this YEC such a grant, an NSF spokesperson said that the NSF does not deal in censorship and “it is not our job to judge [people's] opinions.” Or what if the NIH gave a grant to an HIV/AIDS denialist to study whether HIV causes AIDS, and then an NIH spokesperson said the same thing? Too harsh? Not at all. If anything, it’s not harsh enough of a response to such a comment. Holocaust denial is not an “opinion.” At least, it’s not an viewpoint that is considered legitimate among historians, anymore than YEC is a viewpoint considered legitimate among biologists or HIV/AIDS denialism is a viewpoint considered legitimate by infectious disease doctors and scientists. Would the Danish government fund a study about the legitimacy of flat earth or looking into whether the sun revolved around the earth?

I sincerely doubt it. Yet the same government unconcernedly funds a Holocaust denier.

This is not a matter of suppressing free speech. Recall my outrage at the arrest and imprisonment of Holocaust denier David Irving. (Some of my earliest posts after joining ScienceBlogs were on just this topic.) Recall how I’ve been labeled as dogmatic or insenstive for criticizing laws criminalizing Holocaust denial in Austria and Germany. Recall my broadsides against the pernicious and ridiculous proposed European Union law criminalizing not just Holocaust denial but “genocide denial,” perhaps the most idiotic response to the problem of Holocaust denial that I’ve ever seen proposed, a solution that would ban Holocaust denial and some vaguely defined “genocide denial” not just in nations that participated in the Holocaust and where Holocaust denial has a more threatening subtext (namely the resurgence of Nazi-ism), but in the entire EU.

Besides, there’s a difference between permitting Holocaust denial as one of the odious prices that we must pay to allow free speech and financially supporting it. Clearly Denmark does the former, as Holocaust denial is not illegal there. That’s good and as it should be. However, it does not follow that, if a government permits people to spew the lie that is Holocaust denial, that it must also subsidize Holocaust deniers using taxpayer money. For a government body to award large grants to a Holocaust denier and then to dismiss criticism with a blithe,”we do not censor opinions” is beyond the pale. Not only does it give the imprimatur of government approval to such views, but the government’s response to criticism of its award reveals a level of cluelessness about Holocaust denial that is breathtaking, especially coming from a country that acquitted itself well during its occupation in World War II.

I hear the objection right now, though. Perhaps, some are thinking, Haaest won his award for work that doesn’t deny the Holocaust or for worthy work that has nothing to do with death camps or the Holocaust but rather deals with some other aspect of Danish history during World War II. Maybe. However, as has been pointed out, Haaest’s citations in the Holocaust denial literature go back to 1959:

Dr. Shimon Samuels, Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, wrote to Rasmussen that “Haaest reportedly received this prize for his work on ‘The Danish Friekorps on the Eastern Front, 1941-1965′, hardly a symbol of Danish national pride”, adding that “Haaest’s citations from Holocaust denial literature go back to the 1959 volume of the Journal of Historical Review published by the institute of the same name, frequented by neo-Nazis worldwide.”

Another publication reports Haaest as declaring Anne Frank’s diary “a swindle”.

The Danish government has helped Holocaust deniers get exactly what they want, exactly what Professor Lipstadt warned about in the 1990s in her book Denying the Holocaust: To enter a “debate” as “the other side” or as a legitimate opinion.

Sadly, their efforts are being assisted by more than just the Danish Arts Council. Switzerland has also contributed to the effort of legitimizing Holocaust denial through a blind insistence on “balance” in a truly idiotic proposal floated recently:

WASHINGTON – Switzerland’s foreign minister proposed in December that her government host a conference on varying perspectives on the Holocaust. The participants would include the Jewish state of Israel, and the country whose president has denied the attempted genocide ever happened, Iran.

The details of the plan emerged this week in the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche, which claimed to obtain minutes from a meeting between Micheline Calmy-Rey and Iran’s deputy foreign minister on December 21. The Iranians had just made world headlines after hosting a Holocaust denial conference in Tehran that featured neo-Nazis and ex-Klansmen, such as David Duke.

Once again, the fallacy of”balance” rears its ugly head. When it comes to pseudohistory or pseudoscience, there are not two comparable sides to the issue. There is a side supported by evidence, science, and reason, and then there is the other side, the crank side, be it Holocaust denial, creationism, HIV/AIDS denialism, or 9/11 “Truth,” Putting the two together at the same table to “discuss” or “debate” only serves to give the impression that the crank’s view is somehow roughly comparable in validity to the consensus view. This is the reason why cranks, be they Holocaust deniers, creationists, or 9/11 Truthers, are so desperate to “debate” in forums with legitimate historians, biologists, or medical scientists, respectively. They know they can appear far more legitimate than they are, and they are not constrained by evidence, science or the truth, which allows them to put the side that is constrained by these things on the defensive. Moreover, as the “rebel,” the crank almost always controls the agenda, and, particularly in the U.S., people root for the seeming underdog anyway.

That’s why public debates with such cranks are almost always a bad idea and anyone who naively and in good faith mistakenly agrees to such a staged pseudodebate to refute them should never, never underestimate the capacity for misinformation, spin, and lies.

Comments

  1. #1 Thony C.
    July 26, 2007

    Orac as you well know Germany has anti-Nazi and anti holocaust denial laws of which you, I think quite rightly, disapprove. In order to carry on their nefarious activities and remain safe from the long arm of the German law many German Neo Nazis take advantage of the legal right of European Union Citizens to live where they like within the European Union and live just across the border in Denmark. The Danish Government seems to take a perverse delight in granting these people support and protection under their own freedom of speech laws in order to snub the German Governments demands that they undertake something to prevent this scum spreading its vile shit coloured propaganda within Germany. This situation has been a large bone of contention between the two countries for many years and that which you report is only the latest in a long series of similar incidents.

  2. #2 Oliver
    July 26, 2007

    There is a side supported by evidence, science, and reason, and then there is the other side, the crank side, be it Holocaust denial, creationism, HIV/AIDS denialism, or 9/11 “Truth,”

    …and this is why they shouldn’t be treated any more equal as libel and statements of fact. Libel being illegal, there is no reason to see why statements that affect the dignity not just of one person, but of an entire group of people, should equally be punishable -especially when it incites towards violence against said people.

  3. #3 Reality Czech
    July 26, 2007

    Libel isn’t a crime, libel is a tort.  If the victim of libel can’t afford to sue, they’re SOL.

  4. #4 Oliver
    July 26, 2007

    @Reality Czech

    A)You’re jumping to conclusions, generalizing across many different legal systems. Even in the US with its first amendment, some states have criminal libel laws on the books, though these days they are rarely enforced. In Germany, the constitution explicitly and deliberately puts the primacy, and the entirety of the public effort, behind human dignity.
    B)It doesn’t change the fact that on top of damages, people can even go to jail for libel in many countries.
    C)Given the greater effect of action against significant parts of the population, in cases such as holocaust denial, there is greater public interest than in cases where only an individual is affected.

  5. #5 astutebee
    July 26, 2007

    (Typo. His name is Haaest, not Haaetz.)

  6. #6 THobbes
    July 26, 2007

    Libel being illegal, there is no reason to see why statements that affect the dignity not just of one person, but of an entire group of people, should equally be punishable -especially when it incites towards violence against said people.

    I see this canard all the time in Holocaust denial-related exchanges. There are laws that criminalize the incitement of violence against a group of people–for that matter, those same laws criminalize the incitement of violence against anyone, if that incitement is likely to lead to actual violence. To guarantee any further protection from insult (as opposed to actual injury) based upon membership in a specific group is simply rent-seeking behavior.

    You want to claim that your group bears an excessive burden because of racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., attitudes? And that the government should offer you additional protection because of that? Fine, but be prepared to show actual injury: actual jobs denied because of skin color, actual educational opportunities denied because of one’s religion, actual homes not bought because the realtor won’t sell to gay people. I’m in favor of drawing that protection as broadly as possible, but still with the caveat that actual injury must apply. And despite what will assuredly be fervent protestations to the contrary, words that don’t directly incite violent don’t rise to the level of actually injuring someone–but if you think they do, you can always file a libel suit on your own dime. Just don’t ask the government for protection where it should not be offering it in the first place.

    A. Human dignity is not something that the German government, or any government, should try to guarantee to its citizens. Dignity cannot be imposed from without, and I don’t know where you (or the Germans) get this bizarre idea that dignity is some fundamental human right that must be protected by the government. Liberty, not dignity, is the basic requirement of man, and protection of liberty is the reason that governments are formed.

    B. That’s also inconsistent with fundamental concepts of liberty, and illustrates that those countries do not at all understand free expression.

    C. There are far more Italian-Americans in the United States than Jews. Should libel against Italian history be punishable under criminal law because it has “greater public interest” than an insult to a single individual? Does libel against two people have a “greater public interest” than against one person?

  7. #7 THobbes
    July 26, 2007

    My mistake–of course someone cannot libel “history.” Should inflammatory statements about Italian people be punishable under criminal law because they have “greater public interest” than such a statement about a single person?

  8. #8 Kristjan Wager
    July 26, 2007

    To keep things a little in perspective 100,000 kr is equivalent to about $15,000. Yes, he shouldn’t have gotten the money, and yes, the answer about not dealing in censorship is stupid, but he obviously had some other financing.

    And while the Danish Arts Council might not deal in censorship, they certainly deal in choosing the worthiest receipients of the grants, so they should be ashamed of themselves. However, if that book about the Danish Freikorps is the one I think it is, it actually got a lot of critical acclaim for showing that there were actually more Danes fighting for the Nazis than against them. Could be a different book though.

  9. #9 Peter Lund
    July 26, 2007

    Please don’t drag the government into it.

    This was just an act of the Arts Council. The minister in charge (the minister of culture and sports) would probably love to stop this silliness but we have something called the “arms length principle” meaning that the bodies (there are many of those) that give grants to artists should not be controlled by the minister from the government that give these bodies their money. Seems silly, but it often results in better decisions than the minister would have made.

    And the Arts Council are probably just being post modernists in this case :/

    And anyway, does it really matter? Nazism is not at all a realistic danger in this part of the world whereas communism is. There’s been a debate running in the papers for a while regarding a historian who lauds Lenin for his efficiency without mentioning his victims and that idiot seems to have plenty of supporters. This other idiot doesn’t.

  10. #10 Coin
    July 26, 2007

    And the Arts Council are probably just being post modernists in this case :/

    Peter, is it normal for the Arts Council to be giving out grants to study history? That is outside the scope of what in America would be considered “Arts”.

    And anyway, does it really matter? Nazism is not at all a realistic danger in this part of the world whereas communism is

    I have in the last year seen a lot of concern expressed in Germany about something called the National Democratic Party, which has described to me as a far-right nativist and possibly in fact crypto-nazi party. Apparently the NDP performed startlingly strongly in the 2006 elections. Would you agree or disagree with the statement that the rise of the NDP still shows that Nazism is still a legitimate danger there?

  11. #11 readers write
    July 26, 2007

    i think coin is referring to the ‘national-democrat party of germany’, the npd.
    yes, nazism is a problem in germany, especially in -but not limited to- the ‘new federal states’, i.e. eastern germany.
    but with any other real problem, it ceases to exist in the public view without public coverage. and public coverage of nazism in germany usually needs a story like this > http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,411820,00.html to happen.
    there are lots of low profile incidents in other parts of germany, but they usually don’t trigger the ‘attention threshold’ of the media. except maybe in the wake of an attack like the one mentioned in the spiegel article.

  12. #12 Dr Aust
    July 26, 2007

    It is a significant point that the areas where neo-Nazism is on the rise in Germany are the former East. Unsurprisingly, people who lived for generations under one form of totalitarianism are left with a pronounced susceptibility to other totalitarian creeds.

    The eastern parts of Germany are in a bad way, with 12 years of Nazi totalitarianism, and economic ruin when the Russians trashed the place (down to ripping up the railways lines and carting them away), succeeded by 45 years of Communist totalitarianism. Both regimes, note, ran all-powerful secret police apparatuses that had half the population informing on the other half. These parts of Germany are also economically busted, with their non-viable Communist-era industries gone. Another disturbing trend is that the young women increasingly leave to get work in the more prosperous Western bits of Germany, while the younger men just sit around doing nothing and getting resentful.

    Anyway, what worries me about the “ehemalige Ost” (former East) Germany is not that many people there are “natural Nazis”. It is that these regions are full of people with no idea how to live in a democracy, and no jobs or prospects, feeling nostalgic for the authoritarianism of yesteryear. The good old days when you were told exactly what to think, exactly what do, and exactly when to do it, and in return jobs and food and housing and everything else was provided.

    In a way I think we should be grateful that most such folks vote for the former Communist party, distinctly the lesser of two evils if the alternative is fascistic ultra-nationalism and blaming it all on foreigners.

    Another of those examples, BTW, where it is not enough simply to “give the people their freedom”. Freedom without purpose or structure or prospects can begin to look worse to many of the newly freed than the regimented non-freedom they and their parents were accustomed to.

  13. #13 Oliver
    July 27, 2007

    @THobbes

    Sorry, but I don’t think you are in a position to lecture on “liberty”. Given that you want to tell an entire nation what it should or should not be doing, “liberty” is not a concept you understand. Nay, you go even further: You lecture all mankind what it is they need. You also lecture on free speech. You don’t even know what that is. Liberty, and free speech, are when the German people tell you to shove it and try to fund your own dictatorship, where you can claim that “liberty” is where you tell others how they should behave.

    Throughout history, the freedom of one man had its limits where it intruded on that of another. You do not have the freedom to go into another’s house and take his plasma TV just because you like it. You don’t have the freedom to break your neighbor’s leg just because you like the crunchy sound. And likewise, you have all the right to voice any statement of truth -but you don’t have the freedom to walk around spreading lies. If you do so and it is proven in a court of law, you will suffer the consequences. That’s why we have laws in the first place: Because the freedom to act as you want has its limits.

    @Dr. Aust
    You are seriously mistaken to believe that the areas where neo-nazism is on the rise are restricted to eastern Germany. It is on the rise everywhere there’s a lot of unemployment and people are looking for scapegoats. This is certainly the cast in eastern Germany, but also in the Ruhr area.

  14. #14 JS
    July 27, 2007

    I’m glad you think Denmark acquitted itself well during the Occupation. WWII policy remains a contentious subject, of course, but I am inclined to agree with you on that.

    I have a few comments on other things, however:

    First, let me note that what he received was not a research grant. The Art Council is not in the business of funding research. He received a book grant – that is a grant to finance part of his living expenses while he writes a book. So right off the bat, comparisons to the NSF or NIH are just simply faulty. The Arts Council is much farther down in the pecking order, and is generally considered a cultural rather than an academic institution. I can’t think of a body in the US to compare it to, because as far as I know, the US government is not in the business of funding art.

    Maybe compare it to your National Park Service writ small? (I’ve choose this example for reasons that should be obvious to all who’ve been reading The Panda’s Thumb…) Or possibly to a baseball referee committee (or whatever you call the kind of place where President 28 % didn’t get a job back when).

    Further, as others have remarked, this issue touches on the relationship between the Danish government and its various semi-governmental funding bodies. I suspect that the Arts Council simply screwed up. I further suspect that they would love to retract the grant.

    But first, I’m not sure they can do that legally (I would be inclined to think that they can’t – in general government bodies cannot retract privileges once granted, which is normally a sound principle). And second, to publicly distance themselves from their decision would be admitting that they made a mistake. That is not an easy thing to do, even tough it might be the right thing to do.

    This wariness to admit mistakes may also have something to do with the fact that the current government is seen (and not without some justification) as being anti-art and anti-intellectual in many circles. This is precisely the kind of screw-up that could be exploited by political ideologues to cut financial support for the arts or impose tighter political control, the same way they are currently strangling our universities in the name of improving productivity.

    Third, even if they could back down, it would at this point be viewed as caving in to political pressure. Which would harm the institutions in question. The way our administration is organised in many areas, with quasi-independent funding bodies working as clearinghouses for grants, is a rather fragile thing.

    In principle there is nothing to stop politicians applying pressure to those bodies, except the widespread loss of legitimacy that would ensue. Once the ball starts rolling, however, that restraint might vanish. At least that’s what these institution are afraid of. And sad to say, the current government does not have an outstanding track record w.r.t. the arm’s length principle (e.g. Bent Jensen and his cold warrior grant).

    W.r.t. neo-nazis operating from Denmark, it is true that they employ Denmark as a safe haven, but I don’t think it’s entirely fair to say that the Danish government takes delight in permitting it.

    The Danish system offers various and sundry subsidies and grants for people operating small publications (well, used to, until our current government axed much of that… for all their talk of spreading democracy to Iraq, they seem to have precious little regard for local democracy in Denmark. But I digress). Small local radio stations and small clubs and NGOs are also supported.

    This is generally A Good Idea and serves to promote an active and politically informed citizenry, but – for reasons that should be obvious – Nazi get-togethers, ‘periodicals’ and broadcasts are often small, local and decidedly non-governmental.

    The rub is that as long as neo-nazism is legal in Denmark, there is no principled way to exempt nazi radio stations etc. from government support, because the support in question is given regardless of content (which is A Good Thing, considering that it was precisely the kind of subsidized local broadcasting that blew the police story out of the water after the Nørrebro riots in ’93 – I highly doubt that that station would’ve kept sending if the government had awarded support on the basis of content).

    So it is not so much a matter of wanting to spite the German government (although I have little doubt that quite a few of our politicians take some satisfaction from lecturing our big neighbour on the proper meaning of freedom of speech whenever they periodically attempt to pressure Denmark into banning Nazism) as it is a matter of not really being able to do anything about such activities short of either ceasing all subsidies to small, local media outlets and NGOs or banning neo-nazism outright. Neither of those is worth the price.

    W.r.t. neo-nazism being an affront to truth and honesty and therefore ban-worthy: Well, neo-liberalist economics is an affront to truth and honesty and most neolib economists have a disregard – not to say contempt – for empirical data only matched by string theorists (and of course neolibs would say the same about classical economists…).

    Does it follow, therefore, that we should imprison all neolib economists? Or all classical economists, for that matter? Or all economists, period? As tempting as it might be to forcibly shut up idiots, I am fairly sure that that is not a road we want to go down. Scary stuff usually happens at the end of it. (Wolfgang Scheuble and Heiligendamm, anyone?)

    W.r.t. communism being a real danger in Denmark: I don’t know what you guys are smoking, but I don’t think it’s legal. We’ve had rightist majorities in parliament for the worse part of a decade now. The fact that the rightist government in question is also staggeringly irresponsible (Iraq and high school reforms to take just two examples) just makes that even more amazing.

    Furthermore, if you look at the election record from years back (back before the Danish Popular Party stole their voters from them), you’ll see that the (now formerly) anti-abortionist Christian People’s Party was frequently bigger than the communist bloc (who are by no means all Leninists or Stalinists, irrespective of rightist propaganda to the contrary). Based on that, I would argue that the Christian Right is a greater threat to Danish democracy than communists of any stripe.

    - JS

  15. #15 Peter Lund
    July 28, 2007

    Well, I don’t know what you are smoking, either.

    We do agree on economists, though.

  16. #16 Thony C.
    July 28, 2007

    “JS” thank you for an excellent post.

  17. #17 bernarda
    July 29, 2007

    orac repeatedly calls me a “holocaust denier” and an “anti-semite”, but despite many requests for proof of his allegations, he gives none. As I have said in other posts, I have posted here on the subject and he has only to show my old posts.

    Let’s take another example of the zionist double-standard. There is a Holocaust Museum in downtown Washington between the White House and the Capitol Building. This was built 50 years after WWII. However, the American government and Americans had nothing whatsoever to do with the Holocaust, except for a few like Prescott Bush and Avril Harriman who aided Hitler before the war, but even they not directly.

    Now, a hundred and forty years later, a slavery museum is finally being built dozens of miles outside of Washington. The American government and Americans had everything to do with slavery. In fact, the White House and the Capitol were built by slaves. So why did it take so long for that museum to be built? And why isn’t it in the center of Washington in place of the Holocaust Museum, which as I said has nothing to do with America?

    As you can see at its site: http://www.ushmm.org/ it is devoted to zionist propaganda. Go to the site and do a search on “Palestine”. It is pure zionist ideology. Now they even plan an exposition on the “Exodus” affair, which was the attempt to export illegal immigrants to Palestine.

    It celebrates zionist terrorists trying to conquer Palestine, in which endeavor they were ultimately successful.

  18. #18 Orac
    July 29, 2007

    orac repeatedly calls me a “holocaust denier” and an “anti-semite”, but despite many requests for proof of his allegations, he gives none. As I have said in other posts, I have posted here on the subject and he has only to show my old posts.

    It is amusing to note that bernarda, after saying this, goes on to prove without a doubt that he/she/it is an anti-Semite with a rant about “Zionist double standards.” Oh, and by the way, I explained a long time ago the probable reason why there was a Holocaust museum before there was a slavery museum in the U.S. It’s also amusing for me to note that bernarda assiduously dodged the very same questions I asked about the historicity of the Holocaust in that thread, just like in another recent thread here.

    Bottom line, then as now, I’m not entirely sure whether Bernarda is a Holocaust denier, but there are a number of red flags to suggest that she might be. On the other hand, there is no doubt that Bernada is a raging anti-Semite; it’s been shown again and again from Bernada’s own posts.

  19. #19 bernarda
    July 29, 2007

    Thank you orac for admitting that you have no evidence that I ever denied the holocaust. It is to your honor.

    However, you are a racist. You call me an “anti-semite”. On what evidence? Solely the fact that I am pro-Palestinian?

    Being anti-zionist is not being anti-semite. There are lots of jews, both secular and orthodox, who are anti-zionist.

    Show me my posts where I said something “anti-semitic”.

    The truth is is that one has no argument and one is completely clueless like you, the best attack is ad hominem.

    No wonder that doctors have the reputation for not being the brightest sparklers.

  20. #20 Orac
    July 29, 2007

    Actually, I do have evidence strongly suggesting that you are probably a Holocaust denier, as I discussed here. I simply do not yet think that it is sufficiently conclusive for me to make a conclusive statement one way or the other regarding whether you are, in fact, a Holocaust denier. I also note with interest that you continue to refuse to answer my three simple questions about the Holocaust, so here they are again plus one:

    1. What is the Holocaust and what happened during it?
    2. How many Jews were killed. Were there death camps?
    3. Were there homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz and other camps that were used to kill Jews and other “undesirables”?
    4. Was there a Nazi government policy to exterminate Jews in territories under Nazi control?

    Very simple question, bernada; yet you continue to avoid them like the plague. Someone who is not a Holocaust denier would have no problem with them.

    As for “evidence” that you’re an anti-Semite, well, how about right here, here, here, and here, among other places. You pull out the very same canard beloved among anti-Semites of “I don’t hate Jews; I just hate Zionism.” It’s a very transparent dodge.

  21. #21 JS
    July 29, 2007

    An update on the case and an example of why you don’t want government interference in your semi-independent governing bodies.

    The update is that the chairman of the committee that awarded the grant has stated that if the committee had known then what it knows now, it would not have awarded the grant (which is the usual Danish way of saying “yes, we screwed up. No there really isn’t anything we can do about it. And no we’re not going to admit that we did anything wrong at the time.”

    The example comes from denialism blog, where it’s currently the top story: http://tinyurl.com/32g2no

    If I had to choose between what Hoofnagle describes and the occasional accidental funding of a holocaust denier, I choose the latter, thank you very much.

    Now, in fairness to barnarda (even though I don’t particularly feel like being fair to him or her), there are a great number of atrocities that the civilised world would not be amiss in paying more attention to and remembering better. Many of them committed by countries that still exist.

    And there is no doubt that the state of Israel has had its share of slimy politicos who have milked the holocaust for every political penny it’s worth and even more. Further, linking the holocaust too tightly with the policies of an extant state is not only in my view unethical, it also runs the risk of turning people who had legitimate grievances with said policies into holocaust deniers. And without wishing to derail the thread, there is no doubt that there are plenty of people who have legitimate grievances with the policies that the state of Israel currently employs.

    - JS

  22. You terrorist racist Israel-Firsting Jew loving (possibly Jewish as well) NWO boosters are being so mean to bernada with those three questions. You call them “simple” and “straightforward” but they are only masked as such so that you can use them as a cudgel to bash those who criticize Israel and their various world-controlling agents. Here’s what you don’t mention: bernada only hates Zionists. I see inquiries about how many “Jews” were killed or whether the “Jews” exaggerated the genocide and yadda yadda. Where are the questions about how many Zionists were killed or whether Zionists exaggerated the genocide? I DON’T SEE EM’.

    Of course, they are totally different. “Jews” are a fabricated myth to mask the reality of Zionists, who have shark teeth, gnarled claws, horns and super-muscular bodies in pure-form but are able to seem human with their shapeshifting abilities.

    “Simple questions” my ass.

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