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The Age

Melbourne, Australia, Friday, July 11, 2003


Irving film cancelled, but protest proceeds

By Andra Jackson July 11 2003

protestSEVERAL hundred people protested against a planned screening of a film by Holocaust denier David Irving last night, even though it was suddenly cancelled.

Irving's The Search For the Truth in History was to be shown at the Flinders Street Bughouse Omniplex last night, but patrons were stopped by security guards.

James Huston, a security guard working for Icon Bar, which is in the same building, said: "The owner found out about it, and said no."

Melbourne International Film Festival director Richard Wolstencroft said earlier that the owner of the building [a Mr Goldschlager] had evicted him. He said the owner of a second venue he had planned to use for screening the film for people unable to fit into the Bughouse had also withdrawn the use of his venue.

Early last night Mr Wolstencroft said he was in last-minute talks to find another venue, but he had been unsuccessful.

Mr Huston said at least 30 or 40 people turned up to see the film. "Some were a bit disgruntled, blaming us and saying how dare we cancel the film."

The George Cinema, in St Kilda, another festival venue, was inundated with calls from people ringing up on mobile phones from outside the Bughouse complaining about the cancellation, a festival employee said.

Australian Union of Jewish Students Victorian branch president Geoffrey Kozminsky said several people had tried to disrupt a candlelit ceremony for the victims of the Holocaust by shouting profanities.

But he said he was heartened by the support, which included church groups such as the Uniting Church, and several Palestinians. Mr Kozminsky said he believed the withdrawal of the theatre's use from the festival came about because "a plethora of Jewish group and non-Jewish groups have contacted us to show their support. It was the weight of numbers".

David Irving comments:

PEOPLE who know about these things have provided me with more information from Australia on the two characters identified as "Salbe" and "Hazou".
Sol Salby is a well known follower of Trotsky who occasionally "supports" Palestine. Taimor Hazou like Solby is in fact an Israeli Jew, who claims to be a "Palestinian" on account of the fact that his family were in Palestine prior to 1948. Palestinians are indignant that he claims to speak for their people in Australia.

He said Melbourne had the largest number of Holocaust survivors of any city outside Israel, and he was relieved the survivors did not have to go through the film's screening.

The Australian Jewish Democratic Society's Sol Salbe said: "I'm here because my entire family was wiped out in the Holocaust."

Taimor Hazou, a member of Friends of Palestine, said he was there "to take a stand against racist narratives, and to show solidarity with people who want to stand up against racism".

But he said he was concerned at the influence Israel's ambassador to Australia, Gaby Levy, might exercise in meeting ABC managing director Russell Balding this month on his claim of its "anti-Israel bias".

Mr Hazou said the Palestinian community was equally concerned that the ABC exhibited a pro-Israel leaning.

Mr Salbe said he had not found the ABC biased against Israel. .

[Check MUFF press release to see the unimportant detail omitted by The Age, the identity of the theatre owner]


Protest planned for Irving film | MUFF cancels showing, press release
Gerard Henderson writes of Intellectual garbage by David Irving
Australia's Jews protest plans to screen a film made by Irving
Feb 1993: "The Search for Truth in History", videotaped speech to Australians, after Labour Government refused David Irving permission for a third tour
Sam Lipski reviews Irving video in The Australian, May 21, 1993
May 30, 1993: Australian newspapers report: "Israeli secret agents linked with bugging" device found in Irving Video Censorship Bureau
Jeremy Jones, Oct 27, 1994: Film Scheduled, Dropped by Adelaide Television
How Jews tried to ban Irving speech video: An inside glimpse
The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

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