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Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives, and invite open debate.

Brian Hillman of England, accuses Mr Irving of anti-Semitism for his harsh remarks about the Russian "oligarchs", Monday, July 12, 2004



Greedy, grasping fraudsters?

WHICH of the Russian oligarchs do you find are fraudsters and embezzlers? As far as I can see, none of them have [sic. has] been convicted as such, nor even charged.with such crimes.

Two have apparently been charged with tax evasion (not convicted), which is an entirely different thing.

I expect you may be charged one day for channeling your earnings into bogus companies, but you may not be convicted, of course.

Isn't their crime, in your eyes, that they are very rich, and some of them are very rich Jews?

Doesn't your attitude reek of passionate and impotent jealousy?

Brian Hillman


 ... on the, ahem, oligarchs
Moscow whistleblower Pavel Klebnikov, Editor who unmasked super-rich of Russia is shot dead in Moscow Whistleblower Pavel Klebnikov whacked in Moscow street: Oligarchs suspected | Berezovsky sneers that victim 'was like a bull in a china shop'
Forbes Russia editor murdered in Moscow
Khodorkovsky: From billionaire to cage in court
Our dossier on the life and troubled times of the Russian "oligarchs"
Our dossier on the origins of anti-Semitism

DAVID IRVING responds:

FUNNY that you should think I have termed the handful of Russian "oligarchs" -- and, how extraordinary, how many cowardly journalistic euphemisms the Jews have brought down upon themselves -- fraudsters and embezzlers. Unlike the press, I have not used those phrases, but that may well be the general impression that their now widely publicized activities in Russia have left.

As Vladimir Potanin, one of their number, disingenuously remarked, ordinary Russians may find it hard to understand how any single Russian, no matter how hard-working, can have honestly amassed billions of dollars in the few years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, given that the Russians all had the same starting position: which was, roughly, on the Zero line.

The harsh fact remains: Not only does the rest of the civilised world nurture the strong suspicion that these oligarchs gained the money by ill means at worst, or by networking amongst fellow-Jews at best; but these villains themselves believe in their own criminality, having remained true to the stereotype of getting away with it as long as they can, then flinging their loot out of the window into any other country willing to gather them (and their wealth) up into its arms, with the intention of residing there as long as they can get away with it before that host country too becomes too "hot" for them to remain. [See Arrested oil tycoon had passed shares to banker Lord Rothschild].

IS THAT too harsh a verdict, perhaps even undiluted anti-Semitism? I think not. Anti- Semitism is the mindless, visceral criticism of Jews for being Jews; what is written above is targeted criticism of certain Russian Jews for what they have done to their fellow countrymen, namely for having swindled them out of billions of dollars which were the communal property of the entire former Soviet people, and were not the pork-barrel -- if the use of that phrase is not in itself "anti-Semitism" in the circumstances -- of a chosen and privileged few.

BerezovksyAs Sunday's The Miami Herald put it -- it is only today, Monday, that I have had time to pick it up and read it in the "bathroom" as the Americans still so quaintly call it -- the murdered Moscow journalist Paul Klebnikov had made the mistake of writing an "expose of one of these oligarchs, Boris Berezovsky, left, an aide to former President Boris Yeltsin, alleging that the tycoon was involved in murder, extortion, and high-level corruption." Berezovsky, the respected Knight Ridder newspaper adds, is "wanted by the Russian government and now lives in London."

And there is the difference between us: I am not jealous of the filthy-rich for their wealth; but I have always believed in working for every penny, which I have done for a seven-day week, including every Christian festival, for the last forty years or more, apart from seven days with pneumonia in 1996.

I own no companies, bogus or otherwise. I am not "wanted" by any government, quite the contrary. Though I too cannot return to a score of countries around the world, it is not because I am afraid of being arrested for embezzlement on a global scale if I do, as are these Russian gentlemen, but because these selfsame people and their worldwide accomplices have purchased from those governments promises to impose a ban on any effort I might make to revisit those countries and lecture there. The Claw

FRIGHTENED of the fresh light of day and of the illumination that free speech brings, these creatures burrow deep into the rotting cabbage-mound of their wealth to hide; they buy foreign football teams and luxury mansions in their new hostlands, and hope eventually to pass themselves off as English, Greeks, or Israelis; and they ween themselves fortunate to have got out of the great motherland that gave them birth and so much, much more, just in time.

Is it any wonder that Berezovsky, photographed recently (above), has the same hand-gesture, the Grasp, as Abraham "The Claw" Foxman, (right) the easily corruptible (current price: $100K) director of the body created a century ago to preserve the Jewish community from "defamation" -- alias the censure that some of their members so often deserve?

The Downward Grab, on the other hand, is a gesture that wealthy Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel (left; lecture fee: $40K + limousine) has made uniquely his own.

As for Sunday's The Miami Herald, I was careful not to put it to any untoward use it in the bathroom, in case by accidentally smudging the names of Mr Berezovsky or his cronies I might be further accused of anti-Semitism, or some other thought-crime or misdemeanour.

And, for that matter, in case my rear end complained.



© Focal Point 2004 David Irving