The closed door and the sealed lips are prerequisites to tyranny." --Frank L. Stantion
While waiting to do a radio interview, my eye caught a "letter to the editor" in the local newspaper. The gentleman writer was livid about the Conference which had recently been held in Iran and referred to it as "The Holocaust Denier's Conference".
His rant was replete with accusations. There was a vilification of some local Rabbis who had attended the conference; people such as Rabbi David Weiss. Though not many other attendees were mentioned by name, the author shown the spotlight on David Duke, and the usual three letters prominently preceded his name. ( I do not mean PhD) It had become a rather tired gimmick to dredge up Mr. Duke's 30 year old affiliation in order to discredit the conference.
This "letter to the editor" needed a response, but did I dare write a rebuttal?
Admittedly, I have enjoyed my vacation from midnight threatening phonecalls and degrading, distorted, diatribes, yet this letter was pushing me out of my comfort zone. After all, for the past two years, I have heard myself advising others to "speak truth to power". And since I had to live with Judy Andreas (for, hopefully, several more years) there was no choice. The task was mine.
Part of my discomfort with newspaper letters stemmed from a strange phenomenon that past letters have generated. Somewhere between the post office in which they were mailed and the printed page upon which they appeared, the words had mysteriously changed, resulting in a loss of coherency, leaving foolishness in its stead.
This is what I wrote:
By Judy Andreas
Rest assured that I am not minimizing anyone's suffering. And yet, truth can stand on its own. There is no need for misrepresentation of facts.
The Conference in Iran was not a Holocaust Denier's Conference; it was a free speech conference. Many scholars were represented; some supporting the official narrative of World War 2, and some who questioned the details.
There were millions of deaths in World War 2; deaths of both Jews and non Jews. And yet, some of the details of the official narrative have been questioned by Scholars of all religions. Rabbi David Weiss, one of the six members attending from the group Jews United Against Zionism, told delegates, "We don't want to deny the killing of Jews in WW2, but Zionists have given much higher figures for how many people were killed. Similar sentiments have been expressed by Professor Norman Finkelstein in his book "The Holocaust Industry".
As for the President of Iran, his words have been misinterpreted. President Ahmadinejad does not want to harm the Jews in Israel but he is calling for a regime change. He would like to see Israel return to being called Palestine, much in the same way the Soviet Union went back to being called Russia. In addition, he has called for elections among "Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner" Http://news.bostonherald.com/international/view.bg?articleid=171710&format-text
This is a very emotional topic but an important one. It is truly a "freedom of speech" issue. When people are jailed and harassed for daring to "ask", we are witnessing a frightening phenomenon: creeping fascism has begun galloping. I fear that "Freedom of Speech" has become an endangered species."
"Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison."
--Henry David Thoreau