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Halifax Quakers reacted quickly, too, saying that they were emailing all Quakers in the region to warn them that Irving had a history of trying to book Quaker halls for his speeches.

The Jewish Chronicle
London, Friday, October 5, 2007

David Irving on Trial in ViennaFury at Irving 'revival tour'

By Bernard Josephs and Rachel Fletcher

HOLOCAUST-DENIER David Irving provoked national outrage this week by announcing a nationwide speaking tour in a bid to rehabilitate himself .

Irving, boasting of his plans for his first public appearances since being released from prison in Austria last December -- having served time for Holocaust-denial [Website comment: No it wasn't] -- told the JC that he hoped to stage a "comeback tour" of 20 lectures throughout the country [Website comment: No he didn't].

After small meetings in Rugby and Coventry, Irving, according to his own website, is due to address meetings at undisclosed venues in Halifax and Birmingham, and at a university which he declined to name. But he received short shrift from the deputy leader of Calderdale Council, which takes in Halifax, and Birmingham.

Councillor Stephen Baines, deputy leader at Calderdale, said: "I wouldn't entertain him at all. Anyone who can deny the Holocaust has got to be insane. It was one of the worst things mankind has done to another section of mankind. I think it would be very upsetting, and not just to Jews. I believe in free speech, but I hope nobody turns up.

"You can't stop people from coming, but I hope he doesn't. I would not make efforts to ban him because I do believe in free speech and I don't think we have the power to do it anyway. But I would want to prevent him hiring anything owned by the council. I wouldn't want Halifax to be associated with him in any way, shape or form."

Halifax Quakers reacted quickly, too, saying that they were emailing all Quakers in the region to warn them that Irving had a history of trying to book Quaker halls for his speeches [Website comment: No he hasn't].

In Birmingham, the city council's deputy leader, Paul Tilsley, said his city had always had a proud history of free speech. "Having said that, anybody who tries to stir up racial hatred would not be welcome here, there has got to be a red line. We do not allow public buildings to be hired by political parties that are in the same league as David Irving when it comes to Holocaust-denial, and that rule would apply to him. No building in the city council's ownership would be used."

Sir Jeremy Beecham, vice-chair of the Local Government Association, said: "I very much support what Birmingham and Calderdale have said, which is that they are not going to afford a public platform for his pernicious views. Other local authorities should follow that example."

He added that councils could make it clear "that the man is an evil influence who's clearly coming to peddle his antisemitic propaganda".

This week [Website comment: September 19] there have already been some setbacks for Irving. A scheduled lecture at Dulwich College was cancelled, as was a speaking event at St Andrews University in Fife.

Tom d'Ardenne, president of St Andrews Students' Association, said: "The Students' Association supports the decision not to give David Irving a platform from which to speak at St Andrews. This is primarily for the reasons that he is an active Holocaust-denier; [Website comment: This statement is libellous, and we are hoping for a well-heeled newspaper to repeat it] that he is antisemitic and racist; and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.

"The Students' Association takes its responsibilities towards freedom of speech very seriously, and feels that it is the duty of universities to encourage and foster intellectual debate. We feel that David Irving would not do this."

NUS president Gemma Tumelty said:

"He has no place in our multicultural society, let alone on our diverse university campuses. NUS will certainly oppose David Irving should he speak at a UK university. All students have a right to learn in an environment free from discrimination or harassment, and NUS is committed to working with Union of Jewish Students to ensure that this is the case. Whenever we get confirmed information about his intended campus visits, NUS will act swiftly and severely".

Irving himself announced that he was imposing strict security measures to stop Jewish protesters from disrupting his speeches. He refused to give details of the venues for his tour.

"Every time people invite me to speak, the enemies of free speech stitch me up," he said. [Website comment: No he didn't]

Nor were people with obviously Jewish names likely to gain entry to the meetings, for which tickets were only available by e-mail.

"I have no objection to speaking to Jews as individuals, but if they come to my meetings they could talk to their friends and there could be disruption. People are entitled to listen to me in peace and quiet. There will be strict security."

The lecture tour by Irving, described as a racist and antisemitic by a High Court judge during a failed libel case against American historian Deborah Lipstadt, after which he was jailed for three years in Austria for dismissing the gas chambers at Auschwitz as a fabrication [Website comment: That was not the charge; the charge under the 1945 Banning Law was that he had reactivatedd the Nazi Party!!] , sparked protests from anti-racists and Jewish leaders.

Professor Lipstadt described him as a "discredited" figure. "This is just an attempt on his part to get some attention. He lies about history and makes things up, so why should people be interested in what he has to say?

"Even the hard-core Holocaust-deniers are upset with him because he has accepted that 2.4 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust." [Website comment: Uh? and he's a an active denier?Shome mishtake shurely]

click for Board's websiteBoard of Deputies chief executive Jon Benjamin said that Irving had "irreparably damaged any claims to have been a serious historian".

He said: "He is free to speak in this country, within the bounds of the law, but can he really be treated as a reputable authority? Any roadshow would be more of a freak show."

Survivor Ben Helfgott said: "Any university that invites him would damage its reputation and commit a great wrong against Jews and those innocently killed during the war. The only way to deal with him is to ignore him.

"The man is a menace to society and a fascist. This is precisely why we have Holocaust Memorial Day.

"Authorities can't ban him, but they can tell people he is undesirable. He is an established troublemaker and a proven liar. There is always a danger when he speaks."


Jewish Chronicle editorial gets into a twist: 'Freedom of speech is one of the principles our society holds most dear. ... That is why we urge any public-hall booking clerk, university administrator or private landlord to refuse to give Irving a platform.'
David Irving's Books
The Deborah Lipstadt Libel action
Divided loyalties - Board of Deputies of "British Jews" demanded of the Austrian ambassador in 1992 that his country imprison British historian David Irving
David Irving: A Radical's Diary: On The Forward interview on the Holocaust, and the interesting "Mel Gibson" theory that Jews have been behind many of last century's wars
David Irving: A Radical's Diary: Hysterical efforts by the don't-debate-them, anti-free speech gang meet some success
A November 2001 article by Bruce Hyman for the London Evening Standard
Jewish Chronicle: Barrister-journalist who smeared David Irving after Lipstadt Trial is jailed for fraud

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