Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It's Not Just About The Jews. It's About All Of Us


I ask this question: why is Ernst Zündel in a German prison and David Irving in an Austrian one? Because both those countries, based on well justified national shame, make it a law to deny the Holocaust.
Surely this is unacceptable.
That’s the debate my fellow columnist and esteemed colleague Rafe Mair has just set in motion in the Tyee. And quite possibly it would be unacceptable, as he argues, if it were entirely accurate. It isn’t.
In fact, Zündel is in a German prison because he was convicted on 14 counts of inciting hatred. He had engaged in anti-Semitic activities for years, and these activities included using his website to spread the foul and hateful lie known as "Holocaust denial" - which is indeed a crime in Germany.
It is also a fact that although he engaged in his disgusting activities for several years in Canada, Zündel is in a German prison because he is a German. He was found to be a dangerously undesirable non-citizen (notwithstanding the currently fashionable "No One Is Illegal" rhetoric) under Canada's Security Certificate law and he was lodged in a Toronto prison in 2003. His appeals were exhausted in 2005, at which point he was issued a one-way ticket back to his beloved fatherland.
Mair cites Zundel's successful battles against the "false news" provisions of Canada's criminal code and concludes: The fact that Zündel escaped the consequences of his filthy mind and actions tells me that Canadians are much inclined to regard freeing people like that as the insurance premium free people pay for the preservation of that freedom.
Again, that's not quite right. Zündel did not escape the consequences of his filthy mind in Canada, so Canadians deserve neither credit nor blame. It’s true that Zündel successfully fought his Criminal Code charges on the grounds that the crime of spreading “false news” was an unwarranted restraint on free speech, but in 2002 a Canadian tribunal found Zündel guilty on charges that he had violated Section 13 of Canada’s Human Rights Act.
That section prohibits the act of inciting hatred or contempt of a group identifiable by “race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted.” Zündel was found to have quite clearly and unambiguously engaged in the act of inciting a hatred or contempt of Jews.
Zündel fled Canada prior to the finding, continued operating his website from the United States, then got deported back to Canada where he was locked up under a Security Certificate. He was then deported to Germany where he was tried, convicted and ultimately tossed into The Manheim Crowbar Hotel on February 15, to serve a five-year sentence.
Zündel’s German conviction rested partly upon the same evidence gathered against him for his 2002 Canadian Human Rights Act violations. So, if there some big debate Canadians should be having about this, as Rafe proposes, it should be about whether Section 13 of the Human Right Act is an unwarranted trespass upon free speech.
Section 13 states: “It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically [“including the Internet”] or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination."
I’m not so convinced that this law unreasonably restrains free speech. Whether it does or not, it is most certainly not just about holocaust denial, and it is most certainly not just about a prohibition on the incitement to hatred of Jews.
It’s about prohibiting the incitement to hatred of Muslims, Catholics, Asians, gay people, and so on. We're Canadians, and that’s the way our law works.
It's about all of us.

10 Comments:

Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

Great post Terry, some real food for thought- I am at work gotta run:)

12:00 PM  
Blogger waterdragon52 said...

My memory is growing dim of the events that led to the evolution of Canada's laws that made it a criminal offence to incite hatred, but I believe it started with a Holocaust survivor named Sabina Citroen pursuing Zundel and the Canadian government responding by passing such statutes. What Meir and other "free speechers" don't seem to get, is that Zundel doesn't merely question the extent to which Jews were rounded up and put to their death for no other reason than that they were Jewish, but offered a conspiracy theory that constituted the defamation of an entire group. I also recall that one of the first judges to hear Zundel's various trials and appeals, Ron Thomas, invoked "judicial notice" to preclude Zundel's erstwhile legal counsel, the likeminded Doug Christie, from turning the trial into an opportunity to present Zundel's fabricated "evidence" of the Holocaust being a fraud.

It should be noted that defamation, in and of itself, under Canadian law, is as much about communicating with the intent to harm reputations as it is about circulating falsehoods.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

I had a real fight with some Babblers recently, regarding another individual who adamantly defends Zundels right to free speech - The individual, one Kim Petersen, argued that Zundels only crime was questioning the actual "numbers" not that the Holocaust occurred. This is the url if anyone is interested http://rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=006365

Petersen is one of the more rabid anti-zionists I have encountered, interesting that his work is cited on several sites dedicated to Holocaust Denial, such as "Zundels Prison" http://abbc2.com/zundels/prison.htmand AAARGH - http://vho.org/aaargh/engl/engl.html

4:32 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Saw that Petersen stuff via your place. Atrocious. You're kind to call him merely "anti-Zionist."

Cheers,

T

4:49 PM  
Blogger Chris Womak said...

Stumbled acrtoss your site because it mentioned Zundel. Your short essay is really just another example of a poorly written smear piece. Zundel is a victim of organized Jewry [Zionism for the faint of heart]. Fortunately, the Jews [organized Jewry] spent more of their capital screwing Zundel than they should have, his incarceration is a major propaganda victory, just as Zundel said it would be.

The Jewish media and its apologists. i.e. Terry Gavin have no credibility left, they have marginalized themselves, they don't know it yet, but it'll become blatantly obvious soon enough.

Have a nice day

5:43 PM  
Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

How can people like Womack exist? How is it possible? Maybe it's true what they say about chlorine in the drinking water.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Hey Cat:
I'm reliably advised that Mr. Womak will soon be getting a visit from:
http://www.thehebrewhammer.com/

8:49 PM  
Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

That was a great flick - well perhaps great fun is a better descriptive. I did visit Mr. Womacks little cesspool, if you created that site for a work of fiction or film, no one would be able to suspend disbelief.

3:06 PM  
Blogger ndude said...

Blazing Cat. I think the link on Babble you meant is here:
http://tinyurl.com/34xs32
Personally I don't know why you bother with Babble/Rabble it is a sick and perverse place moderated by like-minded (close-minded) PC nitwits.Somehow "they" don't get it that the very same arguments found on Babel live on neo-nazi (Duke) and the far right (Zundel) web pages. One (politely speaking) anti-Zionist there justified teh co-incidence by "so what if we both drink water?" It must surely be over-chlorinated!

8:33 AM  
Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

That is scary Ndude, it is accurate though, the arguments on Babble do echo those of Duke et al

3:50 PM  

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