Respectful Insolence

Schadenfreude again over David Irving

Since I seem to have attracted several truly idiotic Holocaust deniers in the comments after this post, including, believe it or not, Eric Hunt, the anti-Semite who attacked Elie Wiesel at a San Francisco hotel in 2007 and who now runs a blog full of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism where he recently bragged about attending an appearance by arch-Holocaust denier David Irving and bleating about a vacuous legal suit he’s bringing against Steven Spielberg and Irene Weisberg Zisblatt over what he considers to be a “defamatory” documentary.

How do I deserve such “honors”?

In any case, while I’m on the subject, something happened to good ol’ Holocaust denier David Irving that has caused me a bit of amusement but also disturbs me as well. I feel a great deal of schadenfreude, but at the same time I can’t help but detest how Irving’s embarrassment came about, no matter how much contempt I have for the man. Specifically, what happened is this:

A group identifying themselves as “anti-fascist hackers” broke into the web site and AOL e-mail account of controversial British historian and accused Holocaust-denier David Irving and obtained his private communications as well as attendee lists for his current U.S. speaking tour.

The hackers posted Irving’s e-mail correspondence online, as well as the user name and password for his web site account and AOL e-mail account, which shared the same password. The hackers also posted the e-mail addresses and other personal information — such as names, phone numbers and shipping and credit card billing addresses — of people who made donations through his web sites, purchased his books or bought tickets for his appearances.

Irving’s username and password for his Authorize.net account, which handles the credit card transactions on his web site, were also exposed.

The data was posted on the WikiLeaks site Friday evening in advance of Irving’s Saturday speaking engagement at the Catholic Kolping Society of America in New York City. The organization reportedly canceled the event on Friday after someone contacted it.

I actually was aware that something was wrong after one of my online acquaintances mentioned on an e-mail list to which I belong that Irving’s website seemed to be down. Having had a bit of experience elsewhere with websites being down for extended periods of time, I thought little of it. It turns out to have been more serious than I had thought.

On the one hand, it’s hard to feel too sorry for David Irving and the pathetic band of white power rangers pining for the glory days of Adolf Hitler because their communications were hacked and exposed this way. Indeed, it was quite amusing to see some of Irving’s private e-mails with his young blonde assistant, Jaenelle Antas, revealed some trouble in paradise. But I felt profoundly dirty after having read those e-mails because what these moronic “anti-fascist” hackers have done is illegal and immoral.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about such groups, it’s their extreme self-righteousness, their certainty that their beliefs are so right and their enemies so vile that any tactic, even illegal and immoral tactics, are acceptable in their war. Moreover, as I pointed out before, in their self-righteousness they are distressingly all too often about as anti-free speech as it gets. Again, they seem to think that the self-ascribed rightness of their cause gives them carte blanche to suppress speech they don’t like. It’s not an issue of countering hate speech like Irving’s with speech refuting it. They want to shut people like Irving up. Indeed, check out the e-mail these hackers sent:

Hitler-loving Holocaust-denying David Irving’s speaking tour is being attacked on the streets and on the internet as he makes his way to speak on Saturday in New York City. We have released private email communications, phone numbers and addresses of Irving as well as destroy all files, backups, emails, and databases on his website irvingbooks.com and fpp.co.uk. We also released personal information on people who have attended the speaking tour, made book purchases, or online donations as a warning to those who would support people like David Irving.

We did this to expose this Nazi-sympathizer for who he is and to shut down/disrupt any possibility of Irving rearing his fascist head in public during his tour. To David Irving and all aspiring white-power, anti-immigrant, queer-bashing, racist pigs – give it up! We will fight you on the streets and on the internet until you are swept into the dustbin of history.

While I sympathize and would also like to see Irving’s ideas, as well as the fascist ideals espoused by him and so many of his followers, relegated to the dustbin of history, I don’t want to see it done by sinking down to his level when it comes to tactics, as can be seen in this little cached excerpt from a posting to Irving’s website in 2004:

IN DENVER THERE IS A GANG plotting violence to disrupt my penultimate engagement there. Their ringleader [SEE SPECIAL ITEM] is Sara Salzman, (right), a local Holocaust specialist; she has bragged to the press that she intends to make my visit to Denver as “nasty” as possible.

Forewarned is forearmed. Thanks to expert friends — and to Bill Gates’ shortcomings in providing proper email security for PC’s — we immediately hack a handy “keyhole” into the directives Mrs Salzman issues.

In future she should go Mac, or pay for better firewalls. I expect my keyhole to enable me to identify her moles and lead her entire greasy gang somewhat astray when Saturday comes.

Yes, my schadenfreude is increased by realizing that “what goes around comes around,” so to speak. I also can’t help but smile a bit at what is no doubt the serious discomfiture of people attending Irving’s little hatefests who no doubt would really have preferred that their names not be made public. At the same time I’m saddened that elements on “our side” have actually arguably gone Irving in illegal tactics. One can only imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth if a fascist hacker had gotten into an “anti-racist” anarchist account and done exactly the same thing these misguided “activists” did to Irving.

Few people would love to see Irving’s ideas ending up in the dustbin of history more than I would, but tactics such as this are not the way.

Comments

  1. #1 DLC
    November 16, 2009

    While cracking Irving and his pals is illegal and IMO immoral, seeing him face his own comeuppance after having bragged that his buddies cracked his enemy’s email and other accounts. But I’ll bet you Irving is busy installing a PGP encryption setup on his pc even as we speak.

  2. #2 brian
    November 16, 2009

    wonder why Elie is silent on this Holocaust? Spielberg also needs to speak out
    http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2009/04/26/the-deafening-silence-of-elie-wiesel/

  3. #3 David N. Brown
    November 16, 2009

    As far as I’m concerned, “extra-legal” actions have an approximately viable place in activism, on the lines of Thoreau’s “civil disobedience”. Part of the philosophy is to accept responsibility and any penalties the law may require, as Thoreau did by going through a night in jail.

  4. #4 Sigmund
    November 16, 2009

    The best argument I’ve heard regarding non-censorship and freedom of speech is the linked talk by Christopher Hitchens who specifically mentions Irving.
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6379618149058958603#

  5. #5 Militant Agnostic
    November 16, 2009

    I noticed one of the holocaust deniers infesting this blog was the organizer for one of Irving’s talks.

  6. #6 Socrates
    November 16, 2009

    A comment drawn at random from the above link :

    But the incessant whining, moaning and monstrous hypocrisy of E-Lie and his cohorts have a lot of people seriously thinking about “again”..in a big way.

    Orac, you are a G-d Inter Blogae but these people use their on-line rantings to work up to their off-line activism.

    The commentator above, while denying the Holocaust looks forward to another.

    Are we to allow them to build their corps unopposed until their ready to take to the streets?

  7. #7 Socrates
    November 16, 2009

    And they are responsible for the homophone in my last comment.

    See what we’re dealing with?

  8. #8 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    I’m a secular democratic atheist with absolutely no racial proclivities whatsoever.

    I’ve listened to some of David Irving’s lectures and have read some of “Hitler’s War”. Nowhere – not once – have I seen anything but an attempt at genuine historical scholarship, and likewise I have not witnessed anything that I would consider “anti-Semitic”. In fact, I’ve heard him say several times that he harbours no ill will whatsoever towards Jews (to believe the statement is something else, of course, but I’m just noting what he has said).

    Further, I am not sure at what point Irving is to be counted as a “Holocaust denier”, given that in “Hitler’s War” he readily admits the deliberate killing of millions of Jews (the disputes seem to focus on claims about the authenticity of specific gas chambers, about the nature of Hitler’s personal involvement in the extermination of Jews, about the scandalous nature in which the pre-war German economy was allegedly hijacked and “pillaged” by insular Jewish bankers and war profiteers, and about the real figures of Jewish dead – i.e. exactly how many millions, etc.). Admittedly I’m a novice on the subject, and would appreciate a reference to David Irving’s alleged racism and “Holocaust denial”; I’ve no doubt someone here can provide it, given that so many rational people are so deeply convinced of his guilt.

    Regardless of Irving’s misgivings, however, I do find it odd that the Holocaust is the only ethnic genocide deemed worthy enough to have received its own brand name, so to speak. Equally odd, to me, is the constant re-portrayal and near-promotion of the Holocaust in the media and in film, to the exclusion of other – sometimes much worse – genocidal events. Given that the WWII era alone produced a number of other racial war-crimes (most infamous, of course, was the Turkish slaughter of the Armenians and Kurds – two separate race-crimes which Turkey denies to this day), and given that the Holocaust was not only Jew-specific but also liberally targeted many other ethnicities (slavs, poles, and even 600,000 German people who were deemed “degenerate”), why are we constantly admonished to frame the event as the panacea of Jewish suffering and German guilt?

    And most important, why are people like David Irving and others put IN PRISON for investigating this phenomenon, for daring to suppose – if only for a moment – that the Holocaust is something other than what it appears?

    For this reason, Orac’s appeal is very agreeable. It is a crime that people like Irving – no matter how repugnant his views are (or are made out to be) – can be charged and convicted of thought crime in so many Western democracies. And as I noted before, it’s strange that no one gets thrown in jail for denying the Rwandan genocide, for instance, but the Holocaust is for some reason deemed sacrosanct and, out of hand, preemptively immune to critical analysis and revision.

  9. #9 Orac
    November 16, 2009

    Further, I am not sure at what point Irving is to be counted as a “Holocaust denier”, given that in “Hitler’s War” he readily admits the deliberate killing of millions of Jews (the disputes seem to focus on claims about the authenticity of specific gas chambers, about the nature of Hitler’s personal involvement in the extermination of Jews, about the scandalous nature in which the pre-war German economy was allegedly hijacked and “pillaged” by insular Jewish bankers and war profiteers, and about the real figures of Jewish dead – i.e. exactly how many millions, etc.).

    Spoken like an anti-Semite. Maybe I’ll do a post defining Holocaust denial. Hint: It has nothing to do with whether the “pre-war German economy was hijacked and plundered” and the numbers of Jewish dead are not per se one of the key elements except when they get out of a certain range.

    …for daring to suppose – if only for a moment – that the Holocaust is something other than what it appears?

    Regardless of Irving’s misgivings, however, I do find it odd that the Holocaust is the only ethnic genocide deemed worthy enough to have received its own brand name, so to speak. Equally odd, to me, is the constant re-portrayal and near-promotion of the Holocaust in the media and in film, to the exclusion of other

    Spoken like a true Holocaust denier. The above statements could have come right off of Stomfront. In fact, I’ve seen statements very much like that on Stormfront, on alt.revisionism, and on numerous Holocaust denial sites. Although you did destroy my irony meter by prefacing your comment with “I’m a secular democratic atheist with absolutely no racial proclivities whatsoever.” I’m sure you’re probably an atheist, but your post demonstrated that you do indeed have considerable and highly distasteful “racial proclivities.”

    Thanks, though, for playing and showing once again that Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism are inextricably linked.

  10. #10 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    Thanks, at the very least, for this scrap of dialogue:

    “Maybe I’ll do a post defining Holocaust denial. Hint: It has nothing to do with whether the “pre-war German economy was hijacked and plundered” and the numbers of Jewish dead are not per se one of the key elements except when they get out of a certain range.”

    I’d be most interested to read that.

    Now, on to the real matter. I’m shocked to be called a holocaust denier, further to be labelled an anti-Semite. I’m really just learning about the period, actually, and this sort of jumping to attack anyone who wants to discuss the issue calmly speaks volumes about your character. You speak of “self-righteousness” to the point of militancy; throwing the terms “racist” and “holocaust denier” around – as if the words mean absolutely nothing, and is the ultimate trump card for an argument heretofore unmade – is disgusting, and I would have some fairly unpleasant “words” with you if we knew each other personally.

    Anyone else have anything useful to say? I’m more than happy to believe that Irving is a Holocaust-denying racist, but I’m just trying to figure out where to look.

    – P.S. What the hell is “Stormfront”?
    – P.P.S. Ah, google says they’re white supremicist. Dear Orac: F**K right off. Shall I call you a “Jewish Supremecist”, then? Of course not. Simply remarkable.

  11. #11 Ramel
    November 16, 2009

    Given that the WWII era alone produced a number of other racial war-crimes (most infamous, of course, was the Turkish slaughter of the Armenians and Kurds – two separate race-crimes which Turkey denies to this day)

    Wrong war, those happened during the first world war.

  12. #12 Andreas Johansson
    November 16, 2009

    I’m a secular democratic atheist with absolutely no racial proclivities whatsoever.

    You might want to try not starting with a sentence that rings every alarm bell within 100 km next time.

  13. #13 mad the swine
    November 16, 2009

    I’m not surprized by the above posts. It’s often seemed to me that anti-Semitism is far more prevalent, these days, among the left than among right-wing, neo-Nazi types.

    I’m quite sure Nathan *is* a secular, Democratic atheist. Not because all secular Democratic atheists are anti-Semites, but because American leftism is infested with a nasty strain of anti-Israeli propaganda – Israel is guilty of war crimes against its Arab neighbors, Israel is plotting to drive the Palestinians into the sea via settlement expansion, Israel is a racist apartheid state, Israel kills Palestinian babies (ahem, blood libel, anyone?) – and it’s easy for them (the leftists) to embrace and disseminate genuinely anti-Semetic, Holocaust-denying propaganda while still believing that they’re only attacking the political construct, Israel, and not the racial/cultural construct, the Jewish people. (For Exhibit A, see any Israel/Palestine thread on the Daily Kos, where Nathan’s argument wouldn’t raise more than a few eyebrows.)

    As for the subject of the thread, Socrates’ comment, etc:

    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
    (A Man For All Seasons)

    ((And does anyoue else find it ironic that the person advocating extralegal vigilante activity in post 6 borrows his nick from a person who willingly accepted the death penalty, on charges of which he was innocent, rather than break the laws of his native city by escaping prison?))

  14. #14 Dax
    November 16, 2009

    But you have to wonder about the people who bought tickets or books, and actually disagree with him. I attended lectures and buy books by people I vehemently disagree with, too. I try to limit this as much as possible (go to free lectures, try getting the books for free or second hand) just to limit income going to vomit inducing people. But still…

    Also, trying to silence these idiots only strengthens their cause. The problem with anti-fascists is that they themselves employ fascist tactics and voice fascists rhetoric to further their own cause, believing that someone is only fascist if he/she is an anti-semite. The stupidity on both sides, it burns.

  15. #15 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    I am pro-Israel. And not anti-Palestine.

  16. #16 Helen
    November 16, 2009

    As Nathan’s half-Jewish girlfriend, I can assure you he is no racist, or anti-semite. Just because someone is interested in dialogue, it doesn’t make them a supremacist. Maybe you could address his questions, rather than call names.

  17. #17 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    Andreas:

    Thanks for the advice. I just didn’t want to be associated with what people seem to think of David Irving.

  18. #18 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    “Wrong war, those happened during the first world war.”

    Right, excuse me. The Kurdish incident was WWII, the Armenian was WWI.

  19. #19 Tybo
    November 16, 2009

    Well, Nathan did note he had only read Hitler’s War, and while I’ve not read it, I’ve heard that it was published before Irving outed himself as a complete Holocaust denialist, with relatively modest claims than the stuff he would go on to say in the 1990s (like, say, the claim that Hitler didn’t know about the camps in the book; a decade later he went on to say that more people died in the back of Teddy Kennedy’s car than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz).

    Is it then possible for a casual reader to touch that one without Irving setting off alarms?
    (Maybe I’m naive in wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt sometimes.)

  20. #20 Bob Carroll
    November 16, 2009

    Uh, Helen, There is no such thing as “half Jewish.” Presumably, you mean that one of your parents is Jewish?

    Judaism is a religion, not an ethnic group or race. If you profess Judaism, you are Jewish. Otherwise, you are not.

  21. #21 Dave
    November 16, 2009

    [sniff] [sniff] Ahh, the lovely sent of socks in the morning. Nathan, I was willing to give you the benefit of doubt until you said that you were “shocked” to be called a denier and an anti-semite. Unless you have never expressed opinions similar to those you stated in your first post ever before, you should not be shocked, you should be familiar with the experience. Even if you dont feel its a valid assessement of you, I cant imagine that it hasnt happened multiple times in the past, given your stated opinions.

    Anyway, to attempt to drag this thread away from the delusional socks, Ill throw out the following: I havent read the material that was released. And while I dont think highly of releasing his passwords or private correspondence, I am supportive of the release, even though it was obtained illegally, of the names and addresses of Irving’s “customers.” Well, perhaps less so of their addresses, perhaps only their state and town would have been appropriate. I think its a reasonable level of “hacktivism” to effectively say, we are not going to let this fester in a dark corner: “You want to hear and talk about this idocy, fine, but we are going to let the world know you are an idiot.”

  22. #22 beccastareyes
    November 16, 2009

    Bob @ 20

    AFAIK, Judaism has been both a religion and an ethnic group, thanks to limited exogamy before recently. I mean, since we’re talking about the Holocaust right now, those laws attacked people by who their parents were, not by what they did on the weekends or what they thought about God. A Jew in 1930s Germany could have converted to Christianity or be non-practicing, but be subject to the same laws as the most orthodox of rabbis. Unlike the Inquisition, conversion wouldn’t save you unless it meant you could hide your paper trail from the Nazis.

  23. #23 Thanks!
    November 16, 2009

    Thanks for linking to that young man’s site. I will be sending him money to support his clearly fact-based lawsuit against an incredibly Jewish supremacist liar.

    He was released at sentencing by a San Francisco jury for grabbing a known lying warmonger by the sleeve and requesting an interview. You love to call people idiots, hiding like a coward anonymously on the Internet, but don’t bother to refute Hunt’s findings.

    This liar won an Oscar. She claims she was chosen to be a lampshade and escaped from a gas chamber. Keep up the name calling, anonymous “scientist.”

  24. #24 maxh
    November 16, 2009

    Nathan:

    Maybe I’m the one being naive here. But wasn’t WWII, and specifically the Holocaust, covered in your high school history lessons? I’m not sure about the American curriculum, but in the UK from the age of 13 we start learning modern European History, which generally focuses on WWI and WWII. Now I’m not saying everything they teach you in High School is infallible, or that we shouldn’t look to expand what knowledge we have. But doesn’t it just seem perverse that you will not only ignore any education you had on the subject, but also the vast majority of books and histories written about the Holocaust and instead actively seek the dissenting opinion which is held by a tiny majority of people?

  25. #25 maxh
    November 16, 2009

    Argh! minority that last line should read “….opinion which is held by a tiny minority of people.

    Gah.

  26. #26 Jud
    November 16, 2009

    Nathan writes:

    I’m shocked to be called a holocaust denier, further to be labelled an anti-Semite. I’m really just learning about the period, actually, and this sort of jumping to attack anyone who wants to discuss the issue calmly speaks volumes about your character.

    Orac, of course, needs no one to defend him, and I’m not replying on that account, but rather to say:

    Oh, please.

    Starting your comment #8 regarding an infamous Holocaust denier (infamous not only for his own work, but for unsuccessfully trying to sue, under plaintiff-friendly English libel law, the historian Deborah Lipstadt for calling him a Holocaust denier) by saying you find nothing in his work but “genuine historical scholarship” is staking out an extreme position, and to claim you are then shocked – shocked! – to be labeled an extremist is simply not credible.

    You then reinforce initial impressions by such blatherings as I do find it odd that the Holocaust is the only ethnic genocide deemed worthy enough to have received its own brand name, so to speak. Is that sentence supposed to make sense? Does the fact than many more Americans are aware of genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda than of those involving Armenians and Kurds somehow do violence to history, and cause us much concern?

    World War II (I’m sure you’ve heard of it, it was in all the papers) involved the United States to a greater extent than any conflict since, as well as nations from which a majority of Americans trace their heritage. That events occurring in connection with this conflict – the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, etc. – receive a relatively large amount of American historical and media coverage should surprise absolutely no one, any more than that the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address are events that Americans tend to hear about more than 150-year-old events not connected with the Civil War.

    I say “relatively” large amount of historical and media coverage, because the last large-scale publicity for a Holocaust-connected historical event that I can recall (other than events associated with Holocaust denial, e.g., Ahmedinejad’s statements) was regarding Elie Wiesel’s disagreement with Reagan’s appearance at Bitburg in 1985. Of course we have had media events since then, such as the movie Schindler’s List in 1993, but two events of such scale in the past quarter century don’t exactly strike me as wall-to-wall coverage. It seems to me that anyone who feels this is too great a level of public awareness is displaying hyper-sensitivity (obsessiveness?) about the issue.

  27. #27 Dangerous Bacon
    November 16, 2009

    It’s impossible to spend any amount of time looking into David Irving’s activities without concluding that he, like every other committed Holocaust denier, is a vicious anti-Semitic bigot. The evidence brought out at the trial of his failed libel suit spoke volumes – including charming revelations like the anti-Semitic ditty he used to sing to his young child in her baby carriage.

    Regardless of this, the people who hacked into his e-mail and published personal data from Irving’s contributors deserve to go to jail.

    It’s inevitable, I suppose, that bigoted trolls like Nathan and his “half-Jewish girlfriend” would show up in a discussion like this. Next we will likely hear from other “open-minded” folks who claim to be distressed by harsh words aimed at bigots, and who’ll tell us that they and other “open-minded” fence-sitters are being driven to embrace Holocaust denial as a result.

    Concern trolls, start your engines.

  28. #28 Orac
    November 16, 2009

    @nathan

    OK, before I get back to work, perhaps I’ll take 5 or 10 minutes to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re ignorant instead of a Holocaust denier. Here’s a little education. We’ll start with evidence of David Irving’s anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

    First, there was this big sloppy birthday kiss he threw to Adolf Hitler on his 120th birthday:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/04/in_case_you_wondered_if_david_irving_was.php

    Here’s some miscellaneous bits of anti-Semitism and denial, for instance the claim that Ann Frank was treated well in the camps, denying that Hitler had known about or ordered the Holocaust, and claiming that “only” 1.4 million Jews had died:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/02/the_more_things_change_the_mor.php

    In his latest speaking tour, Irving has been claiming that “only” 1.74 million Jews were killed based on “decoded documents” that apparently no other historian has. Oh, and he was selling posters of Hitler among his books:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/07/holocaust_denier_david_irving_slimes_his.php

    In the mid-1990s, Irving composed a poem for his daughter:

    I am a Baby Aryan
    Not Jewish or Sectarian
    I have no plans to marry an
    Ape or Rastafarian.

    But if you’re serious, if you really want to know the evidence against David Irving showing him to be a Holocaust denier, I recommend two books:

    History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving by Deborah Lipstadt, PhD

    Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial by Richard J. Evans

    Much of the evidence from the David Irving/Deborah Lipstadt trial is also contained on this website:

    http://www.hdot.org

    The expert witness reports for the defense are particularly damning:

    http://www.hdot.org/en/trial/defense#expert

    Of note, historian Richard J. Evans concluded:

    Penetrating beneath the confident surface of [Irving’s] prose quickly revealed a mass of distortion and manipulation in every issue we tackled that was so tangled that detailing it sometimes took up many more words than had been devoted to it in Irving’s original account. Unpicking the eleven-page narrative of the anti-Jewish pogrom of the so-called Reichskristallnacht in Irving’s book Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich and tracing back every part of it to the documentation on which it purports to rest takes up over seventy pages of the present Report. A similar knotted web of distortions, suppressions and manipulations became evident in every single instance which we examined. We have not suppressed any occasion on which Irving has used accepted and legitimate methods of historical research, exposition and interpretation: there were none.

    He noted that as early as 1977, Irving had been sympathetic to Nazi Germany:

    It is clear from all the investigations which I and my research assistants have undertaken that Irving’s claim to have a very good and thorough knowledge of the evidence on the basis of which the history of Nazi Germany has to be written is completely justified. His numerous mistakes and egregious errors are not, therefore, due to mere ignorance or sloppiness; on the contrary, it is obvious that they are calculated and deliberate. That is precisely why they are so shocking. Irving has relied in the past, and continues to rely in the present, on the fact that his readers and listeners, reviewers and interviewers lack either the time, or the expertise, to probe deeply enough into the sources he uses for his work to uncover the distortions, suppressions and manipulations to which he has subjected them.

    Ironically, if it weren’t for Irving’s lawsuit against Deborah Lipstadt, his bias and distortion of history might never have been revealed in nearly as much detail with nearly as much evidence. No wonder the court ruled against him and declared that he was indeed a Holocaust denier.

    Briefer discussions of David Irving can be found here:

    http://www.holocaust-history.org/pamphlets/irving/
    http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/irving.asp
    http://www.holocaust-history.org/irving-david/

    Also it’s important to understand that Irving’s evolution into an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier didn’t pass a “tipping point” until the 1980s (although his earlier works do show a pro-Nazi bias). Eugene Holman explains that history it here:

    http://www.holocaust-history.org/irving-david/irving-incompetent.shtml

    Note that the first edition of Hitler’s War did have references to gas chambers and, although sympathetic to Hitler, didn’t truly deny the Holocaust. In later editions, Irving expunged all references to gas chambers and started denying that they ever existed, only to conveniently “discover” them again around the time of his arrest in Austria. That’s the time he became famous for saying:

    Ridicule alone isn’t enough, you’ve got to be tasteless about it. You’ve got to say things like “More women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.” Now you think that’s tasteless, what about this? I’m forming an association especially dedicated to all these liars, the ones who try and kid people that they were in these concentration camps, it’s called the Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust and other liars, A-S-S-H-O-L-E-S. Can’t get more tasteless than that, but you’ve got to be tasteless because these people deserve our contempt.

    Finally, you said

    …the disputes seem to focus on claims about the authenticity of specific gas chambers, about the nature of Hitler’s personal involvement in the extermination of Jews, about the scandalous nature in which the pre-war German economy was allegedly hijacked and “pillaged” by insular Jewish bankers and war profiteers, and about the real figures of Jewish dead – i.e. exactly how many millions, etc.

    You do know, don’t you, that the claim that the claim that the German economy was “pillaged” by Jewish bankers and war profiteers originated in German far right wing anti-Semitic circles and is mentioned more than once in Mein Kampf, don’t you? It’s the part of the myth of the “stab in the back,” where fascist movements like the Nazi Party claimed that Germany could have won World War I if not for a “stab in the back” by Jews and Communists, who (or so the myth goes) undermined the government and the people’s will to fight and bankrupted the nation. This myth is part of what fueled Hitler’s rise to power. Your uncritical repetition of that claim, whether you realize it or not, was straight out of the anti-Semite and Holocaust denier playbook.

    Ditto your lament about the “Jewish Holocaust” being the “only ethnic genocide deemed worthy enough to have received its own brand name, so to speak” and your complaints about the “the constant re-portrayal and near-promotion of the Holocaust in the media and in film, to the exclusion of other – sometimes much worse – genocidal events.” Now, there are people who are not anti-Semites who have said similar sorts of things, but usually not in the context of uncritically repeating Holocaust denial talking points, the latter of which, when taken with the other complaints, comes across as anti-Semitic and sympathetic to David Irving and Holocaust denial.

    The bottom line is that few anti-Semites actually think of themselves as anti-Semites and are often shocked when confronted over anti-Semitic-sounding remarks. Ditto Holocaust deniers. Whether you are one or both of these, I’m not entirely sure of yet, but at the very least you give the appearance of being sympathetic to both. In any case, read the links above; there is copious evidence there of David Irving’s anti-Semitism, Hitler apologia, fascist/white nationalist tendencies, and Holocaust denial.

  29. #29 Jud
    November 16, 2009

    As Nathan’s half-Jewish girlfriend, I can assure you he is no racist, or anti-semite.

    Ah, some of Nathan’s best [girl]friends are [half-]Jewish! Well then he’s got to be non-biased, it’s just that he can’t tell one of the world’s most infamous Holocaust deniers isn’t doing genuine scholarship, he believes Jewish bankers hijacked the Weimar economy (I assume Nathan is referring to Weimar – or is he claiming the Jews hijacked the German economy under a Nazi government?), and he’s terribly concerned the Armenian and Kurdish genocide victims don’t get all the publicity given to the Holocaust (or the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides, but somehow, even though trials of the Bosnian genocide perpetrators are onging and receiving publicity right now, that doesn’t bother our Nathan – pardon me, your Nathan – somehow).

    Well then perhaps we can give Nathan the benefit of the doubt and allow that maybe he’s not anti-Semitic, maybe he’s just an especially gullible idiot.

  30. #30 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    I’ll say it clearly, slowly, so that the masses may understand: I do NOT deny the holocaust.

    Jud:

    To fly off the handle and label someone a racist, white-supremacist, holocaust denier is an extraordinary claim (based on the mere assertion that David Irving’s book was, thus far, found to be compelling, regardless of his status as a racist or holocaust denier), and one that I take personally (and SHOULD take personally, given that I am steadfastly OPPOSED to all of these things). I have never said – not once – that I deny the Holocaust, that I think the Jews are scum, that whites should rule. To claim or to imply that I did REQUIRES MORE THAN guilt by association in the mind of a self-righteous pontificator de blog (with whom I agree on pretty much everything he’s ever posted). “Oh please” indeed, christ sakes.

    I have stated explicitly that I am relatively unfamiliar with Irving, as I am also unfamiliar with the details of WWII (in a deeper sense than “in the papers”), in an attempt to get someone to link me in with academic refutations of the only work of Irving’s I’ve (partially) read: “Hitler’s War”. From what I’ve read of it so far, “Hitler’s War” doesn’t even deny the Holocaust (although Irving dislikes using that term, and I understand why), it’s mainly about trying to re-frame Hitler’s place in the machinery that brought the Holocaust to fruition (and I’m not saying I agree with it). It makes no mention of Hitler’s cruelty being any less than immense; ditto for the Third Reich. The book also seems to have used a number of primary sources which can be verified.

    Someone mentioned that “Hitler’s War” was “moderate” compared to Irving’s more recent statements/works. I tried to find some of the statements and have been successful, so I fully understand now and agree with his being labeled Anti-semitic (at least in off-the-cuff remarks), even though I don’t see a trace of that in “Hitler’s War”. Irrespective of all this – and here’s the main point that I thought was most relevant to Orac’s original (and good) argument about freedom of speech – it’s absolutely INSANE, to my mind, that anyone wouldn’t be willing to hear Irving’s arguments, much less insist that they be jailed for making them as various governments have done. Any person, institution or government who actively practices academic censorship should hardly be surprised when the very subject being discarded becomes itself a curiosity to people like me who want to know more.

    Yes, part of the reason why I wanted to read “Hitler’s War” was, certainly, the controversy it appeared to have generated. I wanted to see for myself what kind of vile, pugnacious, untakable statements would land men in prison in my country (Canada) – I have, to this point, found none in this book. And again, preface this with the mitigating scruple of noticing how prevalently the Holocaust has been discussed in the histories and in the media in comparison to other genocides, for reasons I cannot entirely discern (it’s good to know about genocides, so it’s good we know so much about the Holocaust to be sure – by why not the others?). Combine this with the fact that its “denial” (in some cases, mere doubt) has become a criminal matter. This is an observation I stand behind; add to it this morning the vitriolic invective of those who would rather it not be said. Tell me, does the abject promotion of the Holocaust, and its protection under criminal code, not also pique your interest, or are you the incurious sort who’d rather call people anti-Semites simply for asking the question?

    Bottom line: if you or others feel that the best way to go about the discussion is to pound away with consternation the “inextricable” link between white supremacy, Holocaust deniers, and a priori anti-Semitism with a discussion of Irving, go right ahead and strike empty space: it doesn’t apply to me.

    maxh:

    I do not consider Canadian high school education to be worthy of serious academic consideration; I want to know, in detail, when and how these things happened. Just more detail as to the specifics – that’s all. I felt that Irving might provide a grain of truth amidst his vacuous, racist ramblings, something different from what I had been told before. I’m not just reading Irving, as you should know, since I’ve asked for Irving-refutations whilst also reading the works of other historians.

    Bob Carrol:

    Yeah, my girlfriend is “half-Jewish”, which is a term I hear being used all the time. Clearly she means “Semitic” by ethnicity. She’s also a 1st-year medical student on scholarship – who knew?

  31. #31 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    @mad the swine – just for the record, you’re full of it, or at the very least making overly broad generalizations. I am anti-Israel. I think the very notion of creating a nation based on a mostly religious identity was the last gasp of British Imperial hubris. I also think that Israel has committed war crimes. I believe the settlements are a clear violation of international law. I even think that it is pretty fair to say that Israel is an apartheid state. I am not in any way an anti-Semite. It is entirely possible to oppose a state and it’s actions and not oppose the religious and ethnic group the state was built on. Who is more anti-semitic, the leftist who opposes the Israeli state and it’s actions, but also opposes holocaust deniers and other anti-Semites, or the conservative who supports Israel 100% because he believes that the Jews have to be there so that god can smite them all in the end times? (e.g. the Rev. John Hagee).

    When the K.K.K came to my town to set up a display downtown, only one local group performed an active protest. They came peacefully and held signs and stood in the rain, the cold, and the snow to say that they stood against this kind of hate. That same group opposes Israeli government activity. I suppose they’re anti-Semites too.

  32. #32 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    “Ah, some of Nathan’s best [girl]friends are [half-]Jewish! Well then he’s got to be non-biased, it’s just that he can’t tell one of the world’s most infamous Holocaust deniers isn’t doing genuine scholarship, he believes Jewish bankers hijacked the Weimar economy (I assume Nathan is referring to Weimar – or is he claiming the Jews hijacked the German economy under a Nazi government?), and he’s terribly concerned the Armenian and Kurdish genocide victims don’t get all the publicity given to the Holocaust (or the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides, but somehow, even though trials of the Bosnian genocide perpetrators are onging and receiving publicity right now, that doesn’t bother our Nathan – pardon me, your Nathan – somehow).

    Well then perhaps we can give Nathan the benefit of the doubt and allow that maybe he’s not anti-Semitic, maybe he’s just an especially gullible idiot.”

    Wow. I can’t believe I just wasted 15 minutes responding to an asshole like you – a person who willfully insults my girlfriend for no particular reason, and then attributes to me a bunch of claims I never made. I NEVER SAID I AGREED WITH IRVING (although I certainly DO think he’s done a great deal of genuine academic work), I just made some observations about how the holocaust is handled in comparison to other, similar events.

    Sod off, idjit.

  33. #33 Orac
    November 16, 2009

    …or are you the incurious sort who’d rather call people anti-Semites simply for asking the question?

    Gee, I’ve heard this sort of question before. But where…? Oh, I remember:

    Or are you the incurious sort who’d rather call people creationists for “asking the question” about Darwin? (To paraphrase the entire Discovery Institute)

    Or are you the incurious sort who’d rather call people anti-vaccinationists for “asking the question”? (to paraphrase J.B. Handly, Dr. Jay Gordon, and many others)

    Or are you the incurious sort who’d rather call people 9/11 Truthers for “asking the question” about 9/11?

    Unfair? Maybe yes, maybe no. However, life is unfair, and I can only judge you by what you write. In any case, “just asking questions” is a favored gambit of denialists and cranks of many different stripes.

    Sorry, nathan. What you said (particularly the bit about the Jewish bankers in the Weimar Republic) sounded very anti-Semitic to me and in line with what Holocaust deniers routinely repeat. I’ve been at this since the 1990s and I’ve heard almost your exact words coming from the lips of Holocaust deniers and seen them typed on sites like Stormfront. Either you meant them, or you didn’t. If you meant them, then, no, it’s not out of line to label you either a denier or utterly clueless about WWII history–or both. If you didn’t mean them, then you’re so hopelessly clumsy at expressing yourself that I would caution you to be a lot more careful in the future.

  34. #34 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    Orac:

    Thanks, I’ve already begun uncovering a number of instances of anti-Semitism relating to David Irving. I will certainly check out the resources you mention.

    That said, I will NOT simply dismiss his arguments for that reason alone. I want to look at his sources, see for myself. As you say anti-Semites often don’t realize what they are, so too might David Irving have uncovered some truth amidst his best efforts to distort it.

    Thanks again for taking the time.

    -P.S. You said: “You do know, don’t you, that the claim that the claim that the German economy was “pillaged” by Jewish bankers and war profiteers originated in German far right wing anti-Semitic circles and is mentioned more than once in Mein Kampf, don’t you? It’s the part of the myth of the “stab in the back,” where fascist movements like the Nazi Party claimed that Germany could have won World War I if not for a “stab in the back” by Jews and Communists, who (or so the myth goes) undermined the government and the people’s will to fight and bankrupted the nation. This myth is part of what fueled Hitler’s rise to power. Your uncritical repetition of that claim, whether you realize it or not, was straight out of the anti-Semite and Holocaust denier playbook.”

    I didn’t repeat these claims as truth, I merely represented Irving’s own position as best I could remember it. There is nothing in my post which says I hang my hat on the claims he makes, although – again – the fact that they were used as propaganda does not immediately inform me that they were in no way based in reality. After all, in order to hate, you often have to give people a semi-verifiable reason to do so. But not always.

  35. #35 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    “Unfair? Maybe yes, maybe no. However, life is unfair, and I can only judge you by what you write. In any case, “just asking questions” is a favored gambit of denialists and cranks of many different stripes.”

    Indeed. There are also those who don’t know much, but are honest inquisitors. Their distrust of your own rendition of events should not be taken personally; believe me, I’m a fan of this blog, just not a fan of being called a racist anti-semite.

  36. #36 Orac
    November 16, 2009

    That said, I will NOT simply dismiss his arguments for that reason
    alone. I want to look at his sources, see for myself. As you say
    anti-Semites often don’t realize what they are, so too might David
    Irving have uncovered some truth amidst his best efforts to distort it.

    Read Richard Evans’ summation:

    http://www.hdot.org/en/trial/defense/evans

    He shows without a shadow of a doubt that Irving misrepresents and misuses historical sources. Moreover, it isn’t just incompetence. In that case, one would expect errors to go in a near-equal distribution between making the Nazi regime look worse or better. In Irving’s case, each and every one of his “errors” err on the side of exonerating Hitler. It’s very systematic.

    Robert Jan van Pelt also demonstrates the systematic nature of Irving’s distortions about Auschwitz:

    http://www.hdot.org/en/trial/defense/van

    These reports are very persuasive and damning against Irving.

  37. #37 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    Great – thanks a third time. Hopefully they deal with any inaccuracies that might be contained in “Hitler’s War”.

  38. #38 PeterD
    November 16, 2009

    Elie Weisel is a Holocaust huckster who has profited nicely from the death of 6 million Jews.

    Check you local listings for his next comical appearance.

  39. #39 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    One last thing:

    “Sorry, nathan. What you said (particularly the bit about the Jewish bankers in the Weimar Republic) sounded very anti-Semitic to me and in line with what Holocaust deniers routinely repeat. I’ve been at this since the 1990s and I’ve heard almost your exact words coming from the lips of Holocaust deniers and seen them typed on sites like Stormfront. Either you meant them, or you didn’t. If you meant them, then, no, it’s not out of line to label you either a denier or utterly clueless about WWII history–or both. If you didn’t mean them, then you’re so hopelessly clumsy at expressing yourself that I would caution you to be a lot more careful in the future.”

    I’ve already said that you made a mistake in attributing those statements about “Hitler’s War” to me, as if they were my opinion. It was YOUR mistake. What concerns me, though, is your willingness to throw around terms like “anti-Semite” so quickly and without cause; to, in essence, see what you wanted to see in my post, not what was written. A discussion which doubts some of the widely-held claims about the Holocaust need not have anything whatever to do with what an individual thinks about Jews in general, as is the case with me. Despite your warning that “you can be an anti-Semite and not even know it” (talk about a recipe for mind-control!), I know EXACTLY where I stand on the issue of racism, thanks, and have no need to heed your warning.

    Look, I know you must have experienced unending exasperation in dealing with bigots with a clear agenda for so many years. I probably will too as I go through this stuff. My only suggestion is to back off the hair-trigger a little bit, because if you say that sort of thing to people who it really doesn’t apply to, you should expect to pay a pretty severe social cost.

  40. #40 Gingerbaker
    November 16, 2009

    “I think the very notion of creating a nation based on a mostly religious identity was the last gasp of British Imperial hubris.”

    That’s a very curious statement from someone who avows that they are not an anti-Semite.

    BTW – I concur with Mad the Swine. The most obvious and virulent anti Israeli sentiment comes from the left. I canceled my subscription to The Nation years ago because its bias was so revolting.

    Tell me, how do you feel about Palestinians?

  41. #41 Orac
    November 16, 2009

    I’ve already said that you made a mistake in attributing those statements about “Hitler’s War” to me, as if they were my opinion. It was YOUR mistake. What concerns me, though, is your willingness to throw around terms like “anti-Semite” so quickly and without cause; to, in essence, see what you wanted to see in my post, not what was written. A discussion which doubts some of the widely-held claims about the Holocaust need not have anything whatever to do with what an individual thinks about Jews in general, as is the case with me.

    Don’t try to shift the blame

    It is a poor writer indeed who first blames his reader for not understanding what he was trying to say without looking at himself first. This is especially true here, given that I wasn’t even close to the only person who interpreted what you wrote as anti-Semitic. The combination of complaining about the prominence of the Holocaust along with careless mentioning of “Jewish bankers” in the Weimar Republic sets off anti-Semite alarm bells in anyone with a knowledge of the issues involved–and rightly so.

    Here’s a good rule of thumb that I’ve learned in blogging through hard experience. These days, when a significant number of people misinterpret what I write, I assume first that it’s my fault that they misunderstood, that I wasn’t sufficiently precise or clear in my language. I then ask myself how I can be more precise in my language in the future. That’s the default. That should be the default.

    Blaming those who read your comment for misinterpreting what you wrote is lazy and allows you to avoid asking yourself how you could have come off sounding anti-Semitic and sympathetic to the Holocaust denier David Irving. It’s whining.

  42. #42 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    @Gingerbaker – I live in a nation where separation of church and state is a core principal (no matter what some people say), why should it be curious that I have a problem with the notion of creating and supporting a nation based on religious distinction? The British empire went around creating a whole bunch of states based on religious and cultural identities, and every one was a huge screw up for international relations. How do I feel about Palestinians? What on earth is that supposed to mean? I feel all sorts of things about Palestinians, I’m not about to write you an essay on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Do I think that there should be Islamic theocracies? No, I do not, but I do believe in the right to self determination. I don’t think we have the right to tell people whether or not they have themselves a theocracy. Personally, I think that a one state solution would ultimately be superior, but unfortunately it seems that no one in the Middle East is much interested in living in a nation where Jews, Christians, Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, and people of other or no faith live together under one secular government with equal rights. That’s sad for all sides.

  43. #43 MikeMa
    November 16, 2009

    PeterD @38,
    Weisel has profited from the holocaust? Really? He sold the gold from the teeth of murdered victims? He stole the artwork from their homes? He made money from their forced slave labor? It must have been from the bounty on the victim’s corpses. Double for women and children, right? What an asshole you are PeterD.

  44. #44 Gingerbaker
    November 16, 2009

    “My only suggestion is to back off the hair-trigger a little bit, because if you say that sort of thing to people who it really doesn’t apply to, you should expect to pay a pretty severe social cost.”

    Oh just STFU already, Nathan.

    You’re not blameless, to say the least, in this exchange. Stop being a petulant asshole, read the excellent source material generously provided to you, and then apologize for giving the Holocaust denier the benefit of any doubt here instead of Orac.

    Putz.

  45. #45 Coryat
    November 16, 2009

    Shorter Nathan:

    “I’m not an unpleasant anti-semite, BUT…”

  46. #46 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    Orac says: “Blaming those who read your comment for misinterpreting what you wrote is lazy and allows you to avoid asking yourself how you could have come off sounding anti-Semitic and sympathetic to the Holocaust denier David Irving. It’s whining.”

    No, it was perfectly clear. I was talking about what Irving wrote:

    “Further, I am not sure at what point Irving is to be counted as a “Holocaust denier”, given that in “Hitler’s War” he readily admits the deliberate killing of millions of Jews (the disputes seem to focus on claims about the authenticity of specific gas chambers, about the nature of Hitler’s personal involvement in the extermination of Jews, about the scandalous nature in which the pre-war German economy was allegedly hijacked and “pillaged” by insular Jewish bankers and war profiteers, and about the real figures of Jewish dead – i.e. exactly how many millions, etc.). ”

    I’m not apologizing for your blatant (and frankly libelous) misinterpretation, which I maintain was a knee-jerk reaction that you probably now regret. Nevertheless, let me say it again: NOT anti-Semite, NOT Holocaust denier, NOT white supremacist.

    Clear enough?

  47. #47 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    “Oh just STFU already, Nathan.

    You’re not blameless, to say the least, in this exchange. Stop being a petulant asshole, read the excellent source material generously provided to you, and then apologize for giving the Holocaust denier the benefit of any doubt here instead of Orac.

    Putz.”

    Very well, I’m a white supremacist anti-Semite holocaust denier. Sorry for asking for refutations/explanations on David Irving, or for daring to suggest that critical discussion on the Holocaust shouldn’t be prevented by legislative and cultural impediments. I’m off to read up on David Irving. Later on guys.

  48. #48 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    @Nathan – Let me try to clarify why the comment about Jewish bankers was jumped on without making any accusations. You said:

    “Further, I am not sure at what point Irving is to be counted as a “Holocaust denier”, given that in “Hitler’s War” he readily admits the deliberate killing of millions of Jews (the disputes seem to focus on claims about the authenticity of specific gas chambers, about the nature of Hitler’s personal involvement in the extermination of Jews, about the scandalous nature in which the pre-war German economy was allegedly hijacked and “pillaged” by insular Jewish bankers and war profiteers, and about the real figures of Jewish dead – i.e. exactly how many millions, etc.). ”

    Now, let me show you how that sounds to many people here by seriously editing it. Though you didn’t mean to say this, it is what people took away from the comment:

    “I am not sure at what point Irving is to be counted as a “Holocaust denier” given that the…disputes seem to focus on claims about…the scandalous nature in which the pre-war German economy was…hijacked and “pillaged” by insular Jewish bankers…”

    I take these liberties with your quote not to misrepresent you, but to show how it could be perceived. It seems that you are saying that it is perfectly legitimate to believe that Jewish bankers plundered the pre-war economy and are therefore to blame for the state of Germany, WWII, and so forth. This is not a legitimate viewpoint, for a number of reasons. Furthermore, you included the adjective “scandalous” and used the words “hijacked and ‘pillaged'”, which further raises people’s ire.

    Now, you can add me to the people you are mad at (but I have note accused you of anything) or you can take this as a learning experience in how what we think we are writing or saying may not be what those reading or listening to us come away with. But when you continue to be defensive about it, then you don’t make yourself look any better.

  49. #49 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    I appreciate your candor, Gus. I know exactly what was taken from my writing – I felt the brunt of it to be sure. I appreciate you laying it out for me though.

    What I don’t appreciate, however, is the liberal usage of slanderous language based on what was, at best, a blatant misunderstanding. It still continues even though I have made my views as clear as day; I’d think (hope) you’d agree that I have a right to be “defensive” about that. After all, I’m new to this stuff (History was never my main field or interest), and wanted to know why Irving was so reviled after seeing nothing racist in “Hitler’s War” so far. My observation about the way in which the Holocaust is dealt with in law and in culture probably gave people the green light as well, even though I see the observation as mere data which support no fixed conclusion as yet. If anything, as I mentioned before, it’s good we’re made hyper-aware of at least one genocide anyway.

    That said, I’ll certainly try to be more clear in the future. I’d just like the anti-semite crap to end now.

  50. #50 Jud
    November 16, 2009

    Blaming those who read your comment for misinterpreting what you wrote is lazy and allows you to avoid asking yourself how you could have come off sounding anti-Semitic and sympathetic to the Holocaust denier David Irving. It’s whining.

    Word.

    Oh, and Nathan – speaking of “perfectly clear” communications, I challenge you to find any part of my statements where I insulted your girlfriend. Seems like this misinterpretation thing can happen to the best of us.

    One additional comment: While you are now hanging your hat on lack of overt anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in “Hitler’s War,” in your comment at #8 you also mentioned listening to some of Irving’s lectures. Was there nothing in these lectures that clued you in to Irving’s possible participation in anything other than “genuine historical scholarship,” and did you really hear nothing in them you would consider anti-Semitic? Are these lectures available on the Internet? (I think including multiple links might consign you to comment-moderation Purgatory, so if they are available you may wish to give only a single link to the main site.)

  51. #51 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    Gus,

    I was just reading up on Irving and thought of something else about what you posted. Let’s just say for sake of argument that those fictitious Jewish bankers and war profiteers were real and, in no small terms, WERE the scum of the earth who purposely engineered the subjugation of the German people; let’s just say this story wasn’t propaganda. Just hypothetical. Is this statement an Anti-Semitic statement?

    No. On its own it’s anti-evil-Jewish-banker in Germany statement, circa. 1930. In order for it to be anti-Semitic, you then need to say, “so let’s kill ALL the Jews, since they’re all scum too.”

    Just a thought.

  52. #52 Orac
    November 16, 2009

    No, it was perfectly clear.

    No, it wasn’t, for the reasons Gus enumerated so well. Your choice of words describing Weimar-era Jewish bankers (“scandalous,” “pillaged,” “insular,” etc.) was particularly poor, in that your words strongly implied that you didn’t see anything wrong with Irving’s claims and even agreed with them. At the very least you did not do a good job of making it clear that you didn’t ascribe these traits to Jews. Couple that with your complaining about the Holocaust’s prominence compared to other genocides, and you truly did come off sounding as though you sympathized with Holocaust deniers.

    ‘m not apologizing for your blatant (and frankly libelous) misinterpretation, which I maintain was a knee-jerk reaction that you probably now regret.

    “Libelous”? Give me a frikkin’ break! There was nothing libelous in what I said. I pointed out that I thought your comment came off sounding like that of an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, which it did, IMHO.

    I’ll tell you something. I did briefly regret perhaps being too harsh on you, but your choice to engage in whining about how poor, poor pitiful you were so badly abused and misinterpreted rather than to engage in a little constructive introspection about how you screwed up your comment so badly as to be misinterpreted, coupled with your hyperbolic claim of libel, quickly cured me of any trace of regret.

    Stop whining. Really. You’re only making yourself look worse and worse.

  53. #53 Orac
    November 16, 2009

    @nathan @51

    Really, do you realize how deep you’re digging yourself in, given that the “Jewish banker” myth wasn’t true? Moreover, anti-Semitism does not require an exterminationist impulse to be anti-Semitic.

    Deeper and deeper you dig.

  54. #54 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    You seemed to imply that she had been dishonest about her ethnicity {“[girl]friend who is [half-]Jewish”). Apologies if you didn’t mean to say that my girlfriend was lying, but rather meant to say it was me, or if you meant nothing of the sort.

    I listened to this segment recently. It deals with comparisons between the Holocaust and what happened at Dresden, as well as an indictment of other historians who he claims have not used primary sources. I’ve only heard one or two others, most of which deal with claims about gas chambers in Auschwitz. He says nothing disparaging of Jews.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGAUm-0DLiU

    Keep in mind, I have already stated that I have since uncovered a fair amount of anti-Semitism espoused by Irving, and recognize the fact of his racism. Although I’ve just started going through them, Orac’s contributions have also galvanized this conclusion (contributions for which I came asking, and eventually received after much white noise, and for which I am very grateful).

  55. #55 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    @Nathan – Hypothetical questions can be fun, but in this case it’s a mere distraction, at best. Anyone with at least a grade school education from anywhere other than Iran ought to know that the Jewish banker stereotype was widely used by anti-Semites and that blaming Jewish bankers for Germany’s woes was a complete anti-semitic fabrication.

  56. #56 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    Orac,

    I will not be told that firing off the kind of crap I took from you is my own fault, when I openly declared my own ignorance and my own desire to see what the fuss about Irving was about. Sorry.

    I mentioned to Gus that, yes, I’ll try to be clearer next time, maybe I could have re-worded some things differently. Gus did a good job of showing me that. I was just trying to reflect Irving’s position accurately, which I thought was predicated in the grammar of my delivery.

    Your burning desire to teach me a lesson is clouding what could otherwise be a simple exchange. Well, I’ve learnt my part of it, wouldn’t you say? Don’t say no to Orac.

    — I bloody-well know the Jewish banker myth wasn’t true! You’ve entirely missed the point. If the bankers were in fact evil and we’re trying to say that, their Judaism is incidental in the phrase “evil Jewish bankers”. You have to say more if you want to imply that they are evil *because* of their Judaism, similar to the Stalin-Atheist gambit so often employed by theists. Additionally, it would be an entirely fair comment to assert that a person’s adherence to a given religion – if that is what is meant – can be a cause of misbehaviour (not ethnicity, though). It can also be a cause of insular favourtism within the religious or ethnic in-group. Keep in mind, this is a philosophical point, not an historical one.

  57. #57 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    “the Jewish banker stereotype was widely used by anti-Semites and that blaming Jewish bankers for Germany’s woes was a complete anti-semitic fabrication.”

    Sorry to disappoint, Gus, but I actually didn’t know that until recently (Not that I though evil German bankers were behind it all before that!). I was trying to make a point about the application of racism to the statement out of hand regardless of its truth-status (in essence, defending my summation of Irving there), and it seems I have once again failed miserably.

    Look, guys, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. I’d just like to see a glimmer of concession on your part that I was unfairly jumped on, although I certainly don’t expect it from what I’ve seen.

  58. #58 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    @Nathan – Was that last part directed at me? I seem to have failed to make my point, namely that your hypothetical situation is not helpful. We don’t need to ask “what if…” because your statement was made in a world in which we know for a fact that a cabal of Jewish bankers did not set out to pillage the German economy. In that world, suggesting such a think is clearly anti-Semitic.

  59. #59 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    No, Gus, it was all for Orac.

    See, I didn’t know that, Gus. I didn’t even know it was proffered as propaganda.

  60. #60 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    No, Gus, it was all for Orac.

    See, I didn’t know that, Gus. I didn’t even know it was proffered as propaganda. Until I read Irving, that is. He talks about it briefly in terms of its propaganda usages, but doesn’t cite it as an actual motivation for the Holocaust (if you don’t believe me, read it yourself).

  61. #61 Serena
    November 16, 2009

    @mad the swine:
    Yes, many leftists are opposed to the existence of Israel. Please explain exactly how that makes them anti-semitic. Anti-semitism is, and always has been, the property of the far right.

    @GingerBaker:
    I have always wondered why the left is so vehemently opposed to Israel. It really makes very little sense to me.

    @Nathan:
    I can’t speak for other western democracies but the US doesn’t throw people in jail for denying the holocaust nor for the “thought-crime” you allude to in post #8. These odious people are allowed to speak and their moronic true believers relish both their speeches and their publishing efforts.

  62. #62 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    @Nathan – Now you’re definitely not being clear, because I can’t figure out WTF you’re talking about.

    Of course a Holocaust denier doesn’t talk about the Jewish banker myth as a motivation for the Holocaust he doesn’t think happened. That’s kind of the whole point. Modern Holocaust deniers are kind of like the anti-vaccine folks. Face with the removal of Thimerosal from childhood vaccines they move the target, saying it is now a combination of toxins in vaccines that causes autism instead of Thimerosal. Holocaust deniers, faced with overwhelming evidence that the Nazis murdered millions of Jews, move the target to saying that they weren’t murdered because they were Jewish, or Hitler didn’t order it, or there were really 1 million instead of 6 million, or they killed some other people in much smaller quantities too, or we killed a lot of people at Dresden so what’s the big deal?

  63. #63 Scott
    November 16, 2009

    I bloody-well know the Jewish banker myth wasn’t true! You’ve entirely missed the point. If the bankers were in fact evil and we’re trying to say that, their Judaism is incidental in the phrase “evil Jewish bankers”. You have to say more if you want to imply that they are evil *because* of their Judaism, similar to the Stalin-Atheist gambit so often employed by theists. Additionally, it would be an entirely fair comment to assert that a person’s adherence to a given religion – if that is what is meant – can be a cause of misbehaviour (not ethnicity, though). It can also be a cause of insular favourtism within the religious or ethnic in-group. Keep in mind, this is a philosophical point, not an historical one.

    The trouble with this formulation is that, if one merely intends to speak about some bankers who were evil and by simple coincidence also happened to be Jewish, the clearer and arguably more natural phrasing would simply be “evil bankers.”

    One wouldn’t, for example, typically comment on “evil short bankers” unless their lack of height were somehow significant, so it’s correspondingly natural to assume that “evil Jewish bankers” is meant to imply that their Jewishness is somehow significant. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    Therefore, there’s a good bit of fairness in concluding that said statement is indeed anti-Semitic, or at a minimum gives the appearance of being anti-Semitic. It may not have been what you meant, but particularly in this area, and particularly given the prior context, it is appropriate to exercise extreme care with word choice.

  64. #64 Dangerous Bacon
    November 16, 2009

    Nathan: “…critical discussion on the Holocaust shouldn’t be prevented by legislative and cultural impediments.”

    Sticking up for Holocaust deniers and repeating anti-Semitic libels (even out of simple ignorance) should be avoided, whether one is a stranger to history or simply a malicious bigot.

    It does not take substantial knowledge of history to conclude that expressing views common to bigots and giving credence to denial of much or all of the Holocaust is liable to give major offense to people, many of whom are not Jews but who also despise bigotry.

    Decency requires not just jumping into a discussion on Holocaust denial to repeat bigoted nonsense under the cover of “just asking questions” – what should be mandatory is educating oneself beforehand on the players and issues involved.

    Someone who genuinely is mistaken about a set of beliefs and learns how offensive they are is typically apologetic and demonstrates a desire to learn in order to avoid such mistakes in the future. They do not focus on lambasting others for incorrectly interpreting one’s purportedly pure motives.

    As Orac indicated earlier, if you’ve been exposed to bigots on many previous occasions, you learn to recognize their gambits and evasions. They have a distinctive odor – which your comments share.

  65. #65 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    Gus says: “because your statement was made in a world in which we know for a fact that a cabal of Jewish bankers did not set out to pillage the German economy. In that world, suggesting such a think is clearly anti-Semitic.”

    See, I disagree with that. Firstly, I have always objected the the conflation of “Jewish” and “Semitic”, as if race and religion were one. They are not (although Jews seem to pass their religion only through heredity, which makes things confusing).

    So if I want to say “Judaism is disgusting”, that’s fair game. Furthermore, if I say “evil Jewish bankers were in control of Germany”, that’s not anti-Semitic, it’s just FALSE. The assumption that I think Jews are evil across the board is YOURS to make or not make, from that statement.

  66. #66 Jud
    November 16, 2009

    Nathan writes:

    I’ve only heard one or two others, most of which deal with claims about gas chambers in Auschwitz. He says nothing disparaging of Jews.

    Nathan, for most folks, (including me, frankly) this is facepalm material.

    Are you not able to draw the conclusion that seeking to debunk claims about the gas chambers is inherently “disparaging of the Jews”?

    Let’s move this out of the realm of the Holocaust for the moment to try to clarify things for you. If you heard someone say they were going to demonstrate the Armenian claims of genocide at the hands of the Turks were lies, would this not lead you to question even a little whether they had an anti-Armenian agenda? I certainly would, and knowing the tremendous weight of the historical consensus that the genocide did in fact take place, there would be a huge burden in my mind on the outlier to show a non-pernicious motivation.

    The equivalent skepticism seriously never occurred to you regarding Irving and the Nazi genocide?

  67. #67 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    “One wouldn’t, for example, typically comment on “evil short bankers” unless their lack of height were somehow significant, so it’s correspondingly natural to assume that “evil Jewish bankers” is meant to imply that their Jewishness is somehow significant. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

    You’re right. The mitigating factor was that the bankers were alleged to be, themselves, JEWISH, a statement meant to be factual (even though it was not). And if the evil actually was a result of ethnic xenophobia or unethical religious teachings contained in Judaism, the statement holds even more merit (just like Muslim suicide bombers, or the like). And that point – however dishonest – was the thrust of the propaganda, which Irving actually disputes to some extent but does not entirely dismiss. And that’s all I was originally trying to report.

  68. #68 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    @Nathan – Except that the assumption is relatively fair given that the phrase was “Jewish bankers”. If it’s not anti-Semitic, why do they need to be clearly labeled as Jewish? And what other motivation could one have for making this blatantly false statement? It is pretty much either anti-Semitic or ignorant.

  69. #69 Scott
    November 16, 2009

    You’re right. The mitigating factor was that the bankers were alleged to be, themselves, JEWISH, a statement meant to be factual (even though it was not).

    I don’t disagree, in fact that’s how I read your comment myself. My point is simply that in such a charged atmosphere, it’s appropriate to be extra-careful about such things, and to explicitly state it if this is your underlying thinking.

    I’ll also note that it’s appropriate for *everyone* to be extra-careful; there have indeed been some of what I’d consider to be overly hair-trigger charges of anti-Semitism thrown around. (Not all such recent charges qualify IMO, but some do.)

  70. #70 Vicki
    November 16, 2009

    Nathan–

    So, along with sleeping through your high school history classes, and ignoring the culture around you, you somehow managed to miss the basics of practical rhetoric. If I talked about “evil white men” when I meant three specific bankers, or “evil Americans” when I just meant Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, I would be speaking in prejudiced terms and promoting prejudice.

    If you didn’t know that, you do now. Consider yourself informed.

    If you still claim not to get it, we’ve seen both the argument from ignorance and concern trolls before, and we’re not buying.

  71. #71 Orac
    November 16, 2009

    Look, guys, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. I’d just like to see a
    glimmer of concession on your part that I was unfairly jumped on…

    You weren’t unfairly jumped on. You just weren’t. You largely brought it on yourself and have continued to dig yourself in deeper ever since by refusing to admit that your language was careless enough that it sure sounded anti-Semitic and sympathetic with Holocaust deniers and blaming everyone but yourself for the criticism coming your way not just from me

  72. #72 Serena
    November 16, 2009

    @Nathan post#65
    What is confusing about Jews passing their religion primarily through heredity? Isn’t that the way most religions are passed? Christians generally have Christian parents as do Muslims, Hindus etc. Doesnt it follow that Jews do the same?

  73. #73 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    “Nathan, for most folks, (including me, frankly) this is facepalm material.

    Are you not able to draw the conclusion that seeking to debunk claims about the gas chambers is inherently “disparaging of the Jews”?

    Let’s move this out of the realm of the Holocaust for the moment to try to clarify things for you. If you heard someone say they were going to demonstrate the Armenian claims of genocide at the hands of the Turks were lies, would this not lead you to question even a little whether they had an anti-Armenian agenda? I certainly would, and knowing the tremendous weight of the historical consensus that the genocide did in fact take place, there would be a huge burden in my mind on the outlier to show a non-pernicious motivation.

    The equivalent skepticism seriously never occurred to you regarding Irving and the Nazi genocide?”

    Of course it has from day one, but nothing of Irving’s that I saw revealed racial hatred at that point. What I insist is that Irving’s writings are worth investigating for the simple reason that he might have uncovered some ugly truths that others may not be willing to produce. Christopher Hitchens agrees, claiming that Irving taught him a great deal about WWII:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Hg-Y7MugU

    Maybe I’m wasting my time, maybe not, but I certainly am gaining a concrete knowledge about why Holocaust deniers are wrong than I would have relying on yesmanship tactics. It also gives me some insight into why the Holocaust has become so marketable, so very prevalent in our society as the very definition of a genocide. It’s a phenomenon worth explaining, in my view. As is the willingness to cry “Anti-Semite!” at the fist sign of the consideration of these ideas.

  74. #74 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    “Nathan–

    So, along with sleeping through your high school history classes, and ignoring the culture around you, you somehow managed to miss the basics of practical rhetoric. If I talked about “evil white men” when I meant three specific bankers, or “evil Americans” when I just meant Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, I would be speaking in prejudiced terms and promoting prejudice.”

    But the claim was “evil Jewish bankers” which refers to a set of specific individuals who are, as the propaganda goes, excluding Germans from the financial edifice of their own country. I do not defend this statement as true; I only defend its potential to be true and valid as a non-racist and tenable statement, were it in fact the case that Jewish bankers had taken over and with their own religious or ethnic aims in mind.

    The whole reason this started was because I was taken to say things I didn’t say, namely, to put forward this propaganda as my opinion. I have corrected this – now all we’re doing is arguing about what necessarily constitutes a racist statement and what does not; it is no longer a discussion about history. I’d be perfectly happy to drop is, as I really have no dog in this hunt anymore, so to speak.

  75. #75 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    @Nathan

    The Holocaust is marketable? Really? Yeah, I’m always motivated to buy by the notion of torture, starvation, depraved medical experimentation, slave labor, and genocide.

    The Holocaust IS the definition of genocide. The word was created to describe the Holocaust.

    Since these comments seem to stem from your statement regarding other “worse” genocides in your initial post I have to ask: What worse genocides?

  76. #76 Nathan
    November 16, 2009

    “by refusing to admit that your language was careless”

    Orac, can you read? I already made that admission in response to Gus – begrudgingly, but I made it as something of an olive branch. All I asked in return was for some humility on your part, perhaps an admission that “white supremacist holocaust denier” was a bit extreme, or that you had not adequately read the post. But, once again, nothing.

    “You just weren’t”… right. Ok. Skipping record, cerebral infarction cleanup on aisle 3.

    Fine, I get the message loud and clear. Peace out kiddos.

  77. #77 RJustice
    November 16, 2009

    “this started was because I was taken to say things I didn’t say,”

    Exactly, being skeptical does not mean to prematurely judge. It was obvious Nathan’s first post was questioning regardless of the poor choice of words. Could we ask a question when our skeptism is peaked instead of trying to label each other into groups. The discussion is great if you leave out all the misinterpretations of what someone did or didnt mean. We should not be judging each other on writing skills.
    @26 great post and links

  78. #78 Andreas Schaefer
    November 16, 2009

    From the point of view of a native German I would like to point out that the term Half-Jewish ( or quarter-Jewish or whaeever fraction of ) is inherently racist.
    1. this is terminology that was used extensivly by the Third Reich bureaucracy and the Nazi theorists.
    2. If one tries to form similar ‘fractions’ like Half-catholic , Quarter-Baptist, or Half-Muslim one finds that these are impossible one can’t be half of a faith.
    However Half-Negro is entirely possible. ( and by KKK definition I am sure that one is called the nasty N word. )
    Compare also the terms Half-Canadian, Half-American to this. ( one either is citizen or not – possibly of more than one nation but NOT half a citizen. )


    So Nathan and his girlfriend apply Nazi terminology to her. So they should not be surprised to be called antisemite.


    Also noteworthy : People complaining about others hiding behind pseudonyms on the internet and then giving as their name an obvious fake. Yes you “Thanks!” : I challenge you to prove your name is “Thanks!”. Unlike you one could easily trace Orac. He presumably uses this ‘handle’ to keep these discussions seperate from his money earning job. Which is what I would do if I had a hobby and a serious job: keeping them seperate.

    And also noted : it may be a coincidence but the name Nathan evokes for someone conversant with classical German literature the most positive depiction of a Jew in German literature : Nathan der Weise http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_the_Wise a pity that his namesake does not show himself to be wise.

    And finally: If I buy something that Mr. Irving or any other Holocaust denyer profits from I am supporting him. It may only be support by negligence but every cent going that direction is one cent too much. Attending his lectures lends credibility to him.

  79. #79 Karl Withakay
    November 16, 2009

    @nathan

    Orac,

    I will not be told that firing off the kind of crap I took from you is my own fault, when I openly declared my own ignorance and my own desire to see what the fuss about Irving was about. Sorry.

    You were told just that, and when you run the thought police, you can ensure nobody tells you anything you don’t like to hear.

    Until then your options are your free choice to not listen at all, to reply with an effective rebuttal, or to repeatedly putt your foot in your mouth by replying with statements that unwittingly reinforce the impressions you are attempting to rebut. I recommend against continuing with the last option; it doesn’t seem to be effective for you here in this forum.

    You might want to consider the following:

    Karl Withakay’s Laws of Concern Trolls:

    More often than not, when someone says they don’t have an opinion on something, it usually means they really do, but deny it so they can maintain the appearance of impartial objectivity.

    When someone prefaces a comment by stating what they are not, or what they don’t believe, or what they’re not sure of, it tends to be followed by a statement that shows they do have an underlying true belief and their preface was dishonest BS.

  80. #80 BA
    November 16, 2009

    If we say we’re sorry you’re a holocaust denier will you be happy?

  81. #81 Karl Withakay
    November 16, 2009

    Nuts, I screwed up the blockquote on that last comment.

  82. #82 Marishka
    November 16, 2009

    I have heard my kids say they are half jewish/half puerto rican. They have one parent of each, and there is definitely not an ounce of prejudice in their minds as they decribe theirself this way. They one parent of each, and they do not practice any religion. So, if someone asks them about their heritage and how they got such beautiful skin, I guess they should just say they are atheist and leave it at that? Saying I am jewish or 1/2 jewish or 1/4 jewish does not make me racist. If your parents are jewish you usually call yourself Jewish whether you practice the religion or not. People are so quick to label words as racist when it is what is in the heart that makes it racist or not.

  83. #83 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    I will say this, not so much in Nathan’s defense, but in general: The word “troll”, an more precisely the phrase “concern troll” may be among the worst things to happen to the internet. Not everyone you disagree with is a troll. Not everyone who is a bit rude, overly emotional, or even a bit of a jerk on the internet is a troll. The use of the word “troll” to immediately signal that nothing someone says should be listened to seems to me to be a new fallacy for the internet age. If one does not like trolls, the correct behavior is to not feed them, not to simply call them trolls while continuing to argue with them.

  84. #84 Dangerous Bacon
    November 16, 2009

    Nathan: “Firstly, I have always objected the the conflation of “Jewish” and “Semitic”, as if race and religion were one. They are not (although Jews seem to pass their religion only through heredity, which makes things confusing).

    So if I want to say “Judaism is disgusting”, that’s fair game. Furthermore, if I say “evil Jewish bankers were in control of Germany”, that’s not anti-Semitic, it’s just FALSE. The assumption that I think Jews are evil across the board is YOURS to make or not make, from that statement.

    Let’s see: Nathan is offended at the use of the term “Semitic” to refer to Jews, although this usage (especially “anti-Semitic” to described anti-Jewish bigotry) is commonly accepted. Apparently Nathan thinks Jews are monopolizing the word, just as he feels they are reaping excessive “benefits” of genocide.
    He also wants us to believe that referring to evil Jewish bankers is not anti-Semitic because one is not labeling all Jews as evil across the board.

    These followup posts should settle any remaining doubt about whether Nathan is an anti-Semitic bigot, as such garbage is part of the classic spewings of anti-Semites (i.e. “I’m not prejudiced against the good Jews, just those international bankers and secret cabals that are trying to take over the world and subjugate the rest of the population. You common Jews is fine by me, less’n of course you don’t join in my denunciations of the evil Jews.”)

    Nathan: “What I insist is that Irving’s writings are worth investigating for the simple reason that he might have uncovered some ugly truths that others may not be willing to produce.

    Also a revealing post. The “others” (respected mainstream historians) Don’t Want Us To Know The Real Truth. Classic conspiracy theorizing. This is also unsurprising, as devotees of conspiracy theory are commonly anti-Semites.

    Regarding the term “concern troll” – that has a specific usage, and describes those who pretend to agree with a particular viewpoint, but who castigate holders of those views for supposedly being biased/insulting and driving neutral observers towards the opposing camp. Concern trolls ignore reasoned and civil arguments about a subject and obsess about any perceived rudeness.
    We see this here frequently when it comes to antivaccinationists, some of whom post here pretending to be pro-immunization and slam Orac and others for purported incivility.

  85. #85 DLC
    November 16, 2009

    KarlwithaKay : You know, I usually have no opinion about blathering concern trolls. . .

  86. #86 Karl Withakay
    November 16, 2009

    @Gus Snarp
    That’s an interesting perspective. Perhaps the term troll has been misused by some in an attempt to silence dissenting opinions, but I do feel it is a legitimate term with appropriate usage.

    Concerning concern trolls: I for one really dislike having what appears on the surface to be a legitimate discussion with someone who purports to have honest questions or no position on a topic, only to find out deep in the thread that they were not being honest about their existing position the whole time.

    I did not, of course, accuse Nathan of being a troll, and my “Laws” are phrased in such a way to indicate a generally probability of trollness rather than an absolute litmus test for such. The point in mentioning the term was to clarify for Nathan how he might be perceived by many, given the way he framed his comments.

  87. #87 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    @Dangerous Bacon – “Concern troll” may have a meaning, but people are too quick to call out “concern troll!” anytime someone expresses any concern. In that case it becomes simply a label to use to attack anyone who offers a differing opinion based on “concern”, no matter how relevant or well argued the opinion. This is not to say that there aren’t real “concern trolls” nor to say anything at all about Nathan, but what exactly is the point in calling someone a “concern troll”? If they “ignore reasoned and civil arguments about a subject and obsess about any perceived rudeness” then that is obvious to anyone who uses a modicum of reason and logic, in which case calling them a troll is pointless. It’s also ad hominem, no matter how accurate. Attack the ideas, attack the flaws of reasoning, then you have done your job, call them a troll, and you have done nothing but attempt to show off your internet savvy while tossing insults.

  88. #88 Jud
    November 16, 2009

    I’d have to say along with Marishka that the term “half-Jewish” doesn’t have sufficiently pejorative associations in the U.S. these days to be widely considered racist. Perhaps “half-black” or “half-white” might be. The situation may differ where Andreas lives.

    Nathan, as someone who had relatives die in the Holocaust and who grew up seeing people with numbers tattooed on their arms, I’ve got to tell you that you have an amazing talent for making the most disturbing remarks quite casually. The Holocaust, marketable?

    If you really want to learn, then I have a recommendation for something you can do. It will not be easy in terms of time or emotion. Watch all 9 hours of Shoah, Claude Lanzmann’s movie about the Holocaust. Then see if you still feel “marketable” is an appropriate term to use.

    If you don’t want to watch all 9 hours (and hey, it took some effort for me, so I can understand if you don’t), then I’ll just leave you with one piece that I remember (and I may remember less than fully accurately after many years, so please pardon any misplaced details):

    The movie is composed of interviews. One fellow they interview, a survivor, is a barber. He’s almost continuously smiling. They ask him why, and he makes a remark about smiling to keep from crying, as he tells the story of the beginning of his concentration camp experience. Before the gas chambers, one method of execution was by carbon monoxide. Vans were used, with the exhaust piped into the rear compartment. The future barber was one of the prisoners assigned to remove the victims from the van. On the first evening he did this, one of the corpses he pulled out of the van was his wife’s.

  89. #89 Gus Snarp
    November 16, 2009

    @Karl Withakay – wow, only typing your name did I get it. LOL. If you don’t know until deep into a thread that someone is a concern troll, then you clearly aren’t guilty of jumping to conclusions and tossing accusations. The problem is when one calls someone a concern troll after one or two comments, with no real evidence of trolling apparent. In this case I suppose one might be reacting based on past experience, but it’s still not fair to the assumed troll.

  90. #90 Marcus Ranum
    November 16, 2009

    I’ll bet you Irving is busy installing a PGP encryption setup on his pc even as we speak.

    Just adding encryption to insecure systems doesn’t make them much better. A rootkit trojan would allow an attacker to dump out the passphrases for files or Email, or to access encrypted drive container files when they’re mounted.

    If you’re serious about protecting your information you need to keep the important stuff on a machine that never gets connected to anything else. Do your encryption there and sneakernet the encrypted files around on a USB keyfob. That’s a huge pain in the butt, of course. Security is the reciprocal of convenience.

  91. #91 Antiquated Tory
    November 16, 2009

    @Gus,
    While on the one hand I think you have a point, on the other hand we have to admit that the pattern of behavior described by Karl Withakay does exist, and furthermore we have seen countless examples of it on this blog. I think though there is a strong tendency among people who have seen this pattern to start seeing it even when it isn’t there, as extreme ignorance/naivity can be mistaken for concern trolling. Since one tactic of concern trolling is to masquerade as well meaning but ignorant, this is not surprising. I think I’ve seen a few vax commenters here whom I still am not sure were concern trolling or not.
    Is there a phrase for the “listen to both sides and decide for myself, except I’m too ill-informed to distinguish credible from incredible positions” fallacy that Nathan displays here? It seems I run into it several times a day on the Intertubes. Sometimes in emails, where there is no possibility of trolling.

  92. #92 Marcus Ranum
    November 16, 2009

    Serena asks:
    What is confusing about Jews passing their religion primarily through heredity? Isn’t that the way most religions are passed? Christians generally have Christian parents as do Muslims, Hindus etc. Doesnt it follow that Jews do the same?

    The notion that children are “of the faith of…” their parents is repugnant to some, who reject the notion that a child can accept a faith it is unable to understand. For revealed faiths like christianity and islam, if you accept them, then you’re in – it’s as simple as that. (Although there are some faiths like mormonism and nation of islam that are racist in their core tenets, they tend to downplay it)

    There’s a fun article about a recent tempest in a teapot in the UK regarding jewish schools, here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/world/europe/08britain.html?_r=2&emc=eta1
    apparently private jewish schools are a problem, because admission might depend on how jewish a prospective student is. Oops – state-sponsored religious school fail! Apparently the degree to which one’s mother’s conversion is real – matters. The article explains it better than I’m interested in attempting; I have no patience for religious bollockery.

    I hold all religion in contempt with no exceptions.

  93. #93 Karl Withakay
    November 16, 2009

    @Gus,
    That’s why I posted my “Laws” for Nathan, in case he wasn’t aware of why some were labeling him a troll, he could understand that part of it was related to his suspicious sounding precursor statement: “I’m a secular democratic atheist with absolutely no racial proclivities whatsoever.”

    The bulk of Nathan’s followup statements have lead me to conclude he is either a concern troll, or someone who is incredibly good at sticking his foot in his mouth and shooting himself in the foot. Every time he nearly has me fully convinced he is authentic and sincere, he digs another hole he has to dig himself out of.

  94. #94 Jud
    November 16, 2009

    Marcus Ranum writes:

    Security is the reciprocal of convenience.

    If you have a home router (e.g., you want your kids to be able to do homework on their desktops while you’re on the porch with your laptop), it pretty much already operates as a hardware firewall due to network address translation (NAT). Through NAT your router assigns home network “addresses” to your computers that are unreachable from the Web. Then two more steps will get you security that’s about as good as anything going for a home setup: (1) Be damn cautious about downloads, emails, and “phishing” (fake sites that try to get you to provide username/password info); and (2) Use a router password that’s difficult for the password-guessing programs on the market to hack (avoid dictionary words and make it as long as possible consistent with being able to remember it; mixing numbers/letters and uppercase/lowercase helps).

  95. #95 Dangerous Bacon
    November 16, 2009

    Gus: “Attack the ideas, attack the flaws of reasoning, then you have done your job, call them a troll, and you have done nothing but attempt to show off your internet savvy while tossing insults.”

    Quite often one can easily deflate the false arguments while at the same time demonstrating that the person is concern trolling. Those who have dealt with such sorts before have the “savvy” to recognize them; newcomers may be unfamiliar with such behavior.

    What concern trolls actually want is to focus on style rather than substance. If you tone down your comments to the point of extreme blandness in accord with the idea that even the most ridiculous and offensive comments are to be treated with the same respect and weight as thoughtful and knowledgeable commentary, then the concern trolls get their way.

  96. #96 Marcus Ranum
    November 16, 2009

    Jud writes:
    If you have a home router (e.g., you want your kids to be able to do homework on their desktops while you’re on the porch with your laptop), it pretty much already operates as a hardware firewall due to network address translation (NAT). Through NAT your router assigns home network “addresses” to your computers that are unreachable from the Web.

    Hi, Jud. I’m the author of the first commercial NAT firewall product. :) Let me assure you that – by itself – NAT isn’t close to good enough (what you’re really getting mileage out of is the translation state tables maintained in the NAT engine) Some NAT devices, however, let certain types of broadcast traffic through by default, or have holes on crucial ports; a site being contacted through a NAT firewall might be able to push traffic back. Yes, that’s a far-fetched scenario but I’ve seen it done.

    Be damn cautious about download

    It’s worse than that. If an attacker can get you to point a browser to a site where he’s been able to add content, there are often huge numbers of ways traffic can be punched straight through the browser. :( I wish it was just downloads (though those are a big deal, for sure) – there are also flash-based attacks as well as browser-specific image decoder-based attacks. A lot of sites today bootstrap malware down to target machines using a variety of bugs in browsers (very nice of the browsers to identify themselves to the site so the hacker can craft a browser-specific reply!) If I had a machine that had sensitive data on it, I would not recommend using it to connect to the internet at all, especially not to browse.

    I work with a certain amount of sensitive data, including audit information I’ve had to collect regarding sensitive networks belonging to my clients. That data lives on a separate netbook that never gets hooked to a LAN or wireless. For $300 that’s the best information security you can buy.

  97. #97 Scott
    November 16, 2009

    An air gap is the best security.

    Well, aside from a sledgehammer, a blast furnace, and a sizable charge of plastic explosive. Nobody’ll ever make an unauthorized connection to that computer again – I personally 100% guarantee it! (Or an authorized one, but that’s beside the point.)

  98. #98 Jud
    November 16, 2009

    Marcus Ranum @96 –

    Yep, I was certainly not speaking to anything satisfactory for commercial purposes, just what will make you a less easy target than 99.99% of home users. (The “you don’t have to be faster than the bear chasing you, just faster than the other guy” theory.) OTOH, as more people work over the Web from home, commercial-level security at home is more and more necessary.

    I did mention phishing sites, not just downloads, but your point about attack websites not being limited to the classic phishing ploys is again well taken.

    I could have fun talking about this some more, but perhaps we’ve already done enough OT commenting on Orac’s time. :-)

  99. #99 Luna_the_cat
    November 16, 2009

    Uh. Forgive me, but I just *have* to jump on a statement made back at 74:

    …the claim was “evil Jewish bankers” which refers to a set of specific individuals who are, as the propaganda goes, excluding Germans from the financial edifice of their own country. I do not defend this statement as true; I only defend its potential to be true and valid as a non-racist and tenable statement, were it in fact the case that Jewish bankers had taken over and with their own religious or ethnic aims in mind.
    [my emphasis]

    Right, it was Russian Jews in my ancestry, not German ones, but there is a similar fallacy operating here to the kind of thinking which drove the Russian pogroms.

    The German Jews are/were GERMANS. Just like Russian Jews identified themselves as RUSSIAN. It was only those who didn’t consider them “valid citizens” who pasted the additional “Jewish” identifier on.

    Was there ever a question of, were Russian Christians Russian? Were Russian atheists Russian? Were German Christians German? Were German atheists German? No, not an issue? Didn’t think so; which is why assuming first that only Jewishness needed to be separately identified, but also, second, that this Jewishness somehow meant that their interests did not really align with their citizenship, that they were automatically not “real Germans”….that is deeply problematic, and part of a sort of unconscious, unthinking anti-Semitism which classes Jews as separate, apart from and not real citizens of their own countries.

  100. #100 trrll
    November 16, 2009

    When someone prefaces a comment by stating what they are not, or what they don’t believe, or what they’re not sure of, it tends to be followed by a statement that shows they do have an underlying true belief and their preface was dishonest BS.

    The very fact that somebody feels that it is necessary to preface his comments with, “I am not X” implies that he is fully aware that what he is about to say would tend to lead people to believe that he is, in fact, X.

    So if he then come back acting hurt and surprised because some people thought that he was X, I conclude that he is not only X, but also dishonest.

  101. #101 Antiquated Tory
    November 16, 2009

    One other unrelated point, and if any landsmen here think I’m full of it, have at it.
    I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, that “being Jewish” is more complex than a religious identity. Marishka touched on it. It’s an evolution of a tribal identity where Judaism was the religion of the tribe. But it’s not quite a national identity, despite the efforts of Zionism. I’d call it “post-tribal” but you’d throw things at me, quite rightly.
    As someone pointed up so far up I can’t find it, Jewish marriage is heavily endogamous and the identity is inherited matriliniarly, which has helped preserve tribal aspects of the identity. If a Jewish woman is raped by a Philistine/Hittite/Assyrian/Babylonian/Persian/Egyptian/Greek/Roman/Arab/Frank/Turk/Mongol/Cossack/etc, her baby is still 100% Jewish. If your mother is Jewish and you think that the Old Testament God is a load of old cobblers, you are still Jewish, unless you go so far as to adopt a different religion, in which case you have just spat on your mother, her mother, and every relative going back to Abraham.
    Andreas, since Germans have a blood-identity, you should be able to understand this. The term “volksdeutch” might have unfortunate connotations but even now, the descendants of Germans have certain advantages when emigrating to Germany, regardless of the language they speak, etc. Compare this to the more culture-based identity of the French.
    I would add that part of Jewish identity is that we are the people of Israel, the place. Non-Jews may not like this and find it backwards and offensive. Some Jews aren’t crazy about it, either, but nonetheless, there you have it. “Next year in Jerusalem” is not about some Christian-style Jerusalem analogy in the sky, it’s about the actual, physical city. It’s about coming home to your own land, not living in someone else’s land by their sufferance.
    Now, you may make the moral argument that you can’t simply occupy a land because your ancestors used to live there without taking the wishes of the current inhabitants into account. (Yes, I know there were Jews living there, too. This is a blog comment, not a book.) You may also make the practical argument that the utility value of Eretz Yisroel for Jewish survival went up in smoke in the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima, and the further argument that perhaps one reason we’ve survived this long is that we’re so spread out that whatever happened to some of us, there would always be others left somewhere. (I’m very sympathetic to this argument myself.) But to go on about how you cannot imagine how such an idea as Zionism came about or why on Earth Israel should exist, or why they and the Palestinians don’t simply get along… Well, it’s a bit simplistic, isn’t it? We’re all trying to get by with the history we have, not the history we would like to have.

  102. #102 Rebecca
    November 16, 2009

    Gus Snarp – the discussion seems not to have followed your remarks about Israel, but I would like to say one thing. The British did not set up the state of Israel. The UN did – with the partition plan that was approved in November, 1947 – a plan with both an Arab and a Jewish state dividing Palestine between them. After the UN approved the partition plan, the British did nothing to implement it, and actually quite a lot to obstruct it. The Balfour Declaration in 1916 certainly was pro-Zionist (although at the same time acknowledging the rights of non-Jews in Palestine), but by the time an actual Jewish state was going to be set up, the British were obstructing it as much as possible.

  103. #103 Prometheus
    November 16, 2009

    It’s been a couple of hours since “Nathan” last tried to justify himself on this ‘blog, but on the odd chance that he hasn’t stormed out of the (virtual) room, is anybody interested in giving him the chance for a “do-over”?

    It may be my “Pollyanna” side coming out (I’m bipolar – Pollyanna-Cynical), but I’d like to hear what “Nathan” might say if he were given the chance to make a second first impression.

    I’ve read some of David Irving’s work – as much as I could before flinging the book into the trash – and there probably are things in his books that are true (the copyright date, for instance). That, in fact is exactly how historical revisionists work.

    If David Irving were to write that Hitler was a misunderstood man who just wanted World Peace and that the Holocaust never happened (as the current president of Iran claims), it would be apparent to even the casual reader that he was lying.

    On the other hand, if David Irving were to argue (as he does) that it wasn’t six million Jews that were killed and that there were only a few gas chambers, then he is more believable (again, to the casual reader who knows little of history) and he plants the seed of an idea. That idea is that the Holocaust has been exaggerated for the purpose of gaining sympathy and political leverage.

    And it’s only a short step from that idea to the claim that the Holocaust never really happened. “OK,” his readers might say, “some of the Nazis did some bad things, but they were never sanctioned by Hitler and his advisors. It was just a few bad apples.”

    That’s how it works.

    “Nathan”, would you like to revise your statement at this point?

    Prometheus

  104. #104 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 16, 2009

    If “Nathan” is still here, and if he is actually somebody who wants to be well-educated on the issue of the Holocaust and is working from the handicap of having been very badly mis-informed on the subject, I would suggest to him that he read Norman Cohn’s excellent book Warrant for Genocide. In addition to being a riveting read in its own right, it will illustrate a very important point: you simply can’t read someone claiming to tell you “hidden truths” about the Holocaust and not consider the possibility that their “hidden truths” are not “truths” at all but just the same anti-Jewish lies that have been told for centuries.

  105. #105 Militant Agnostic
    November 16, 2009

    I think a good starting point for Nathan might be to read Mien Kampf, especially chapters 10 (Causes of the Collapse) and 11 (Nation and Race) to get things “right from the horses mouth” – or perhaps the other end of the horse. It is readily available online. You can see how absurd David Irving’s writings are.

  106. #106 PeterD
    November 16, 2009

    @MikeMa (#43):

    Before I begin, please let me just say that in my previous post I (like MikeMa) misspelled the huckster’s name: it’s “Weasel,” not “Weisel” nor “Wiesel.”

    I am sorry to break the news to you, MikeMa, but everytime the Weasel opens his mouth, it is an abomination to the memory of those who died in the Nazi concentration camps. Christopher Hitchens has called him a “poseur.” Norman Finkelstein colourfully refers to him as the “resident clown” of the Holocaust industry. All apt.

    Can you blame them. While the few remaining Holocaust survivors today barely make ends meet, the Weasel has made a great living charging tens of thousands of dollars in appearance fees talking about the Holocaust. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather wash dishes for a living than charge exorbitant appearance fees (with limo service, of course) talking about the inferno that befell European Jewry during the Second World War. But that’s just me.

    Moreover, for a fee, the Weasel will stoop to any level. For example, he has accepted large sums of money on behalf of the scumbag Marc Rich, a fugitive of U.S. justice in the 1990s, to petition the-then-Clinton administration for Rich’s pardon. And speaking of petitions, he has also, on his own volition, petitioned the U.S government for the release of convicted spy Jonothan Pollard. For those not in the know, Pollard is the American who spied on his own friggin’ country on behalf of Israel. It’s kinda ironic when you think of it. Here’s the Weasel, a putz who has made most of his money in America, petitioning for the release of a man who has been convicted of spying against America. Once again, I don’t know about you, MikeMa, but spies deserve to rot in jail.

    And now the kicker . . .

    In the early 1980s, there was an international genocide conference held in Israel; the Weasel was scheduled to be its honourary chairman. The Armenians asked to be included. Israel refused, putting pressure on the Weasel to resign as chairman if the Armenians were included. The Weasel, whose moral depravity has yet to be plumbed, obliged his government. Why? Is the Weasel not familiar with the Armenian Genocide of 1915? Obsequious putz.

    What an asshole you are PeterD.

    meh . . .

  107. #107 Harry Eagar
    November 16, 2009

    beccastareyes sez: ‘Unlike the Inquisition, conversion wouldn’t save you unless it meant you could hide your paper trail from the Nazis.’

    Not the main point of the thread, but for the sake of historical accuracy, know that conversion was not enough to save one from the Inquisition, and that the Spanish Inquisition was as racially based as the Nuremberg Laws.

  108. #108 PeterD
    November 16, 2009

    Not the main point of the thread, but for the sake of historical accuracy, know that conversion was not enough to save one from the Inquisition . . .

    Indeed . . . it was a property grab!

    Ironically, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme has done more to separate Jews from their assets than . . .

  109. #109 Anon
    November 16, 2009

    I was just looking at the WikiLeaks file.

    The last time I felt this dirty was after reading /b/

  110. #110 Rebecca
    November 16, 2009

    PeterD –

    Is the real thing that angers you about Wiesel that he actually is a survivor who has written eloquently about his own experiences and his family’s experiences in the camps – to the extent that he makes it impossible to deny the Holocaust?

    Your anti-semitism is showing in your obsession with the supposed connection between Jews and money.

  111. #111 PeterD
    November 17, 2009

    Is the real thing that angers you about Wiesel that he actually is a survivor who has written eloquently about his own experiences and his family’s experiences in the camps . . .

    I assure you, Rebecca, there is no anger. I simply noted that the Weasel—are you ready for this?—has no credibility on moral issues. Moreover, he—take a deep breath now, Rebecca—has hardly any literary talents to speak of. For a historical narrative on the Holocaust I prefer the writings of Primo Levi, a remarkable writer. I doubt you’ve read any of his writings. If you had, you’d have a better appreciation of what eloquent writing is.

    . . . – to the extent that he [Weasel] makes it impossible to deny the Holocaust?

    Duh! It’s the work of disthinguished scholars like Raul Hilberg who make it impossible to deny the Holocaust. Do get that through your capacious head.

    Your anti-semitism is showing in your obsession with the supposed connection between Jews and money.

    Nah, Rebecca, it’s more like your nasty ignorance that is showing.

    As Harry Eagar noted, “conversion was not enough to save one from the Inquisition.” I agreed. Because the Inquisition was in effect a theft of Jewish propery, the Jews were doomed even if they had converted.

    As for Bernie Madoff, he used his Jewish heritage to prey on his mostly Jewish clients. Nothing new there—criminals usually prey on their own kin first.

    And what? You think the approx. $50,000,0000,000 that Madoff stole is chump change? Have you any friggin’ idea how large that amount is and what kind of financial devastation it had on the Jewish-American community? According to the Weasel himself, he, too, got wiped out by Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

    So . . . pray tell, Rebecca, how is my “antisemitism” showing? [Roll of the eyes]

  112. #112 brian
    November 17, 2009

    Today the most potent antisemitism is that directed against arabs and esp palestinians..

    http://www.mediamonitors.net/francis1.html

    this genocide is defended by charges of ‘antisemitism’

  113. #113 Luna_the_cat
    November 17, 2009

    For someone with “no anger”, PeterD, you are doing a very convincing imitation of someone who is both angry and obsessional.

  114. #114 MikeMa
    November 17, 2009

    PeterD,
    I had not heard that criticism of Wiesel. It appears to be centered on the exceptionalism of the Jew’s experience as targets of hatred and abuse while ignoring the other worthy victims. This seems a little bit thin as the basis to attack the man who has dedicated his life to remembering the fate of so many dead. I’m sorry the Armenians and the Romani have no such eloquent spokesman but that is not Wiesel’s fault. That he needs and makes money at this effort is part of the modern world’s requirements. I still admire the man.

  115. #115 Gus Snarp
    November 17, 2009

    @Rebecca – Yes, I thought I was going to be in for a fight, but I seem to have fallen by the wayside. Thanks for the historical correction, I pondered that whole “last gasp of British Imperial hubris” line for a while, guess it wasn’t the best choice. However, as you mentioned, the British Empire did lay the groundwork for the modern state of Israel, and really the whole imperial hubris and arbitrarily carving out nations was something many western nations were guilty of, and the creation of Israel is still a remnant of it. The British just happen to be the best example of western imperialism.

    But yes, I left my post open to this criticism, and I thank you for pointing it out.

    Also, wow, it’s gotten kind of crazy in here while I was sleeping. Whew.

  116. #116 hater
    November 17, 2009

    I don’t like the phrase “hate speech.” Hate is a useful human emotion and at times necessary for self-preservation.

    Could we all live with “delusional speech”? These deniers certainly manifest fixed, false beliefs impervious to reason.

    Of course if we make “delusional speech” a crime we will have to build many, many more prisons.

    Perhaps “delusional hate speech”?

    Oh this is getting too complicated.

  117. #117 Gingerbaker
    November 17, 2009

    Gus:

    “But yes, I left my post open to this criticism, and I thank you for pointing it out.”

    You left your post open for a lot more criticism than that, but I just don’t have the energy, sorry ;D

    But admit it, you have a boner for Israel.

  118. #118 PeterD
    November 17, 2009

    For someone with “no anger”, PeterD, you are doing a very convincing imitation of someone who is both angry and obsessional.

    Indeed, ignorance is bliss for chumps like you.

    I had not heard that criticism of Wiesel. It appears to be centered on the exceptionalism of the Jew’s experience as targets of hatred and abuse while ignoring the other worthy victims.

    You’re whistling Dixie now, MikeMa. The Weasel is a hypocrite and a fraud. Period.

    This seems a little bit thin as the basis to attack the man who has dedicated his life to remembering the fate of so many dead.

    On the contrary, “the basis” is quite damning. But then again, to be fair, I don’t know what—or how low—your moral standards are.

    I’m sorry the Armenians and the Romani have no such eloquent spokesman but that is not Wiesel’s fault.

    Like Rebecca, I guess you don’t read much.

    That he [Weasel] needs and makes money at this effort is part of the modern world’s requirements.

    As I noted previously, I’d rather wash dishes for a living than make a living charging TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars in appearance fees for discussing the Holocaust.

    Pray tell, how much would you charge, MikeMa, in Holocaust appearance fees? Would you demand limo service, too?

    I still admire the man.

    That’s nice; I like pop tarts, too.

  119. #119 Michael Santomauro
    November 17, 2009

    Amazon’s New Book: Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides By Thomas Dalton

    In this remarkable, balanced book, the author skillfully reviews and compares “traditional” and “revisionist” views on the “The Holocaust.”

    On one side is the traditional, orthodox view — six million Jewish casualties, gas chambers, cremation ovens, mass graves, and thousands of witnesses. On the other is the view of a small band of skeptical writers and researchers, often unfairly labeled “deniers,” who contend that the public has been gravely misled about this emotion-laden chapter of history.

    The author establishes that the arguments and findings of revisionist scholars are substantive, and deserve serious consideration. He points out, for example, that even the eminent Jewish Holocaust scholar Raul Hilberg acknowledged that there was no budget, plan or order by Hitler for a World War II program to exterminate Europe’s Jews.

    This book is especially relevant right now, as “Holocaust deniers” are routinely and harshly punished for their “blasphemy,” and as growing numbers of people regard the standard, Hollywoodized “Holocaust” narrative with mounting suspicion and distrust.

    The author of this book, who writes under the pen name of “Thomas Dalton,” is an American scholar who holds a doctoral degree from a major US university.

    This is no peripheral debate between arcane views of some obscure aspect of twentieth century history. Instead, this is a clash with profound social-political implications regarding freedom of speech and press, the manipulation of public opinion, how our cultural life is shaped, and how power is wielded in our society.

    Peace.

    Michael Santomauro
    Editorial Director
    Call anytime: 917-974-6367
    ReporterNotebook@Gmail.com

  120. #120 Jud
    November 17, 2009

    Michael Santomauro wrote:

    …Peace.

    Gesundheit.

  121. #121 historylurker
    November 17, 2009

    Nathan,
    as a profsional historain i sujest u read the rise and fall of the third rich as a comparison. it is still one of the best books about the inner working of the thrid rich. Also Danial Irving is the Susuan Summers of history. he cherry picks the vast amount of source material to fit his theory. and as a note i know people who work with this matieral and cope by drinking alot. what is taught in hisotry class is the disney version the real deal is so much worse

    sorry i’m really dyslex

  122. #122 Vicki
    November 17, 2009

    Not all Holocaust educators charge for their work, true. I greatly admire a woman I know who doesn’t charge to go into schools and tell them what happened to her, her parents, and her sisters. That doesn’t mean everyone who does this work should do it as charity: I admire volunteer firefighters, but don’t you dare insult the New York Fire Department on the basis that we pay them to put their lives on the line for us.

    I infer that PeterD does not, in fact, wash dishes for a living, but has some more comfortable job. I too would rather wash dishes than work as a Holocaust educator, because it would be easier: dishwashing wouldn’t give me nightmares from thinking about those horrors. I hope that both Wiesel and the woman I mentioned above find that talking about the horrors makes it easier, rather than harder, to live with the memories.

  123. #123 Pieter B
    November 17, 2009

    First, I am not “PeterD.” ick

    Nathan, quite frankly I think you’re not just a threadjacker but a liar. You claim that you are just trying to find out about David Irving. If you really were, I would think that as a literate and apparently computer-literate person with access to the intertubes you’d type “David Irving” into The Google and hit the return key.

    When one does this, the first hit is to his Wikipedia page. I know that Wikipedia is not a definitive source, but it’s a place to start, and the articles are usually rich with links to authoritative sources. The second graf of the Irving article reads

    Irving’s reputation as an historian was widely discredited[3] after he brought an unsuccessful libel case against the American historian Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books in 1996. During the trial, an English court found that Irving was an “active Holocaust denier”, as well as an antisemite and racist, and that he “associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.”[4] The judge also ruled that Irving had “for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence.”[4][5]

    Also in the first ten Google hits is a link to Eberhard Jäckel’s scholarly analyses of Irving’s historical misinterpretive techniques and a link to a collection of articles on Irving at the Guardian UK website.

    Research FAIL.

    That said, I agree wholeheartedly with you that the jailing of people like David Irving for their opinions is an abomination.

  124. #124 Coryat
    November 17, 2009

    Nathan, are you the same Nathan who has toddled over to Pharyngula as ‘a new reader’? Just because if that is you, you’re saying equally stupid things over there as well as here.

  125. #125 T. Bruce McNeely
    November 17, 2009

    Michael Santomauro wrote:

    …Peace.

    To quote Charlie Rich: Peace on You.

  126. #126 Rebecca
    November 17, 2009

    Why, PeterD, are you then parroting the line of Holocaust deniers and anti-semites about Elie Wiesel? See the attacks by Daniel McGowan on Wiesel which are very similar to yours – I won’t link to them, just google them. McGowan has made very similar snide remarks about Madoff as well. Why are you so angry at Wiesel in particular?

    And why do you keep mentioning the supposed connection between the Inquisition and Jewish money and Wiesel and money? What do they have to do with each other? And what does Madoff have to do with Wiesel at all (except for stealing his money, as he did from so many other people, the majority of them not Jewish).

    And yes, I have read Primo Levi, and I do like his work. He and Wiesel obviously came from different Jewish backgrounds, and it shows in their books (Hasidic vs. secular Italian Jewish community).

  127. #127 PeterD
    November 17, 2009

    I hope that both Wiesel and the woman I mentioned above find that talking about the horrors makes it easier, rather than harder, to live with the memories.

    As a matter of fact, the Weasel charges a minimum of $25,000 for his Holocaust lectures—plus limo services—to make is “easier, rather than harder,” to discuss his horrible memories.

    God bless him, the moral midget has no shame.

    I am still waiting for MikeMa to tell us how much he would charge for Holocaust appearance fees.

    (Hurry up, Mike.)

    First, I am not “PeterD.” ick

    How much would you charge, Peter B?

    Yeah . . . you’re definitely not PeterD!

    P.S. Has anyone here had the pleasure of reading the Yiddish translation of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason?

  128. #128 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 17, 2009

    I had not heard that criticism of Wiesel. It appears to be centered on the exceptionalism of the Jew’s experience as targets of hatred and abuse while ignoring the other worthy victims. This seems a little bit thin as the basis to attack the man who has dedicated his life to remembering the fate of so many dead.

    MikeMa, might I suggest that you read Peter Novick’s excellent “The Holocaust in American Life”? Doing so might give you a much different perspective on Elie Wiesel. For instance, when you say that Wiesel “ignore[s] the other worthy victims” you might mean “victims of other genocides such as the Armenian genocide, the Rwanda genocide, etc.” It is my understanding, however, that Wiesel has actively campaigned on a number of occasions to oppose any official recognition of the millions who weren’t Jewish who also died in the concentration camps, and to downplay both their numbers and their significance. That doesn’t strike you as, pardon the expression, a little un-kosher?

  129. #129 Coryat
    November 18, 2009

    Never mind your ‘understanding’, do you have a source for your frankly shocking (prima facie) claim ?

  130. #130 Dave
    November 18, 2009

    Never mind your ‘understanding’, do you have a source for your frankly shocking (prima facie) claim ?

    Without taking a position on the validity of Mr. Feldspar’s assessment of Elie Wiesel, I would point out that it seems obvious from the context of his post that he feels that the book he references is a source for his claim.

  131. #131 PeterD
    November 18, 2009

    Why, PeterD, are you then parroting the line of Holocaust deniers and anti-semites about Elie Wiesel?

    Because honest criticism of the Weasel is deservedly justified. That’s why.

    Unfortunately, sinister creeps like Irving and his ilk will also criticize the Weasel. They are not stupid—they, too, know that the criticism is well justified. But is their criticism due to doing the right thing? Of course not. They do it—that is, they level EASY, genuine criticism against the Weasel—because it conveniently and cleverly allows the creeps to hide their true feelings: racist hatred against Jews.

    How do we separate genuine critics from antisemites?

    It’s not easy. That’s why they cleverly hitch their wagons with the legitimate critics But time usually betrays antisemites and Holocaust deniers. For example, let’s take the creep David Irving. Does he really care that the Weasel is exploiting the Holocaust, or is he taking a shot at him because he simply hates Jews? The answer is the latter. Why? Well, it’s quite simple. Has Irving ever lashed out—the way he does against the Weasel—against anyone who has made antisemitic or racist statements? I rest my case.

    See the attacks by Daniel McGowan on Wiesel which are very similar to yours – I won’t link to them, just google them. McGowan has made very similar snide remarks about Madoff as well.

    Rebecca, if you had taken the time to carefully read what McGowan actually said about Madoff (that’s if were talking about the same article, and I think we are), you’d see that his remarks were in a completely different context than mine.

    Next . . .

    Why are you so angry at Wiesel in particular?

    You mean why I don’t like the Weasel?

    Let me count the ways: 1. He’s a bloody hypocrite; 2. he’s a fraud; 3. he’s a vain, egotiscal buffoon.

    I must say that he reminds me a lot of that wretched hag Mother Theresa. Don’t you think?

    And why do you keep mentioning the supposed connection between the Inquisition and Jewish money

    Basically what I said was . . . “the Inquisition was in effect a theft of Jewish propery, the Jews were doomed even if they had converted.”

    Unless you’re pro Inquisition—-are you, Rebecca?—where is the malice in such a statement?

    . . . and Wiesel and money? What do they have to do with each other?

    [Roll of the eyes]

    And what does Madoff have to do with Wiesel at all (except for stealing his money, as he did from so many other people . . .).

    [Snicker]

    Absolutely nothing. I simply, as an aside, noted that the Weasel was also a victim of Madoff’s theft.

    (. . . the majority of them not Jewish.)

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. I have heard Madoff’s $50,000,000,000 theft—Do you have any clue how much $50B! is?—described (and rightly, I might add) as the “Madoff Inquistion,” “Kristallnact II,”, a “financial pogrom.” World Jewish philanthropy will be adversely affected for decades to come.

    And yes, I have read Primo Levi, and I do like his work. He and Wiesel obviously came from different Jewish backgrounds, and it shows in their books (Hasidic vs. secular Italian Jewish community).

    Indeed, there is a great dissimilarity between the two. You have the eloquent, well defined writing style of the great Primo Levi versus the sentimental, corn puff—“truth lies in silence”—writing style of the Weasel.

    Glad to hear that you, too, noticed the difference.

  132. #132 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 18, 2009

    Dave, you are correct; the Novick book is the source. The reason I phrased it as “my understanding” is that it has been over a year since I read the Novick book and when I read it, it was to research a point that had nothing to do with Wiesel; under those circumstances, I am not going to present my memory of what the book had to say about Wiesel as absolute fact. However, I remember quite clearly being shocked when I read of Wiesel’s actions; they quite changed my view of the man, which had been wholly positive before if vague on details.

  133. #133 PeterD
    November 19, 2009

    It is my understanding, however, that Wiesel has actively campaigned on a number of occasions to oppose any official recognition of the millions who weren’t Jewish who also died in the concentration camps, and to downplay both their numbers and their significance. That doesn’t strike you as, pardon the expression, a little un-kosher?

    Such is the moral depravity of the man that last month he addressed a crowd of some 6000 Christian fundamentalists—of the Armageddon-doomsday kind—at some event hosted by the John Hagee Ministries.

    You think Hagee gave him his blessings?

  134. #134 Kleft
    November 20, 2009

    Such is the moral depravity of the man that last month he addressed a crowd of some 6000 Christian fundamentalists—of the Armageddon-doomsday kind—at some event hosted by the John Hagee Ministries.

    You think Hagee gave him his blessings?,yes

  135. #135 steve
    November 20, 2009

    I suspect Nathan and his conveniently appearing half-jewish friend haven’t been at this antisemitic/Holocaust denial thing for very long. Else they would know that those of us
    who have had many years of experience with their type are able to smell them long before we see them.

  136. #136 Bob Kling
    November 20, 2009

    Freedom of Speech means allowing Speech which is extremely offensive.. Allowing politically correct speech was allowed in the Stalin and Hitler eras. If you don’t support allowing extremely offensive Speech than you don’t support “Freedom of Speech” period. And you don’t support the American Constitution. Which is fine, everybody is entitled to their own opinion. If you feel the European system of not allowing Freedom of Speech is better, than fine, but at least don’t be a phony. Admit that you feel the Constitution s/b amended to disallow Freedom of Speech.

  137. #137 PeterD
    November 21, 2009

    You think Hagee gave him his blessings?,yes

    There’s an obnoxious video of Hagee on youtube where—get this—he predicts that the coming antiChrist will be Jewish and gay. Anyone here wants to hazard a guess as to who this “faygala” may be? lol

    p.s. David Irving is not just an antisemite. He is also a white supremacist.

    p.p.s. Please excuse the slang.

  138. #138 Justin Davis
    November 23, 2009

    I agree, but I’m not so sure about what you said at the beginning. Where are you getting your information? I’m not disagreeing, but I’m just wondering how you came to that conclusion.

    Justin Davis
    Author does not represent the legal position of the darpa challenge 2009 and expresses opinion only.

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