Toben and free speech
By Antonia Feitz,
The News Report, Issue 590
From: Neil Baird, Sent: Monday, September 23, 2002 5:18 AM
After the Federal Court ordered Frederick Toben to remove material questioning the veracity of the holocaust from his website, Jeremy Jones - president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry who instigated the legal action against Toben - illogically said Toben's material did not stand up to any examination (SMH, 18/9/02).
Come again? If Toben's material doesn't stand up to any examination reasonable people might well ask why did the Executive Council of Australian Jewry worry about it to the extent of pursuing Frederick Toben through the courts? Why not let people judge Toben's material for themselves? Does Mr Jones think the majority of Australians are halfwits, incapable of evaluating the evidence?
The court's decision is a blow to free speech everywhere, not just in Australia. Why? Because according to Jones, the decision has provided a "useful precedent" and has "international implications" for the internet.
It's interesting that Jewish organisations have been at the vanguard of suppressing free speech in Australia. It was the Australia-Israel Review who published that notorious list of One Nation supporters under the heading, "Gotcha!" - a grossly intimidatory act if ever there was one.
It was the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission along with Community Aid Abroad who attempted to set up the vigilante RaceWatch campaign to encourage Australians to monitor the utterances of candidates and parties - ie One Nation - for a 'racism' which ludicrously even included the belief that migrants should assimilate into the wider community.
RaceWatch was a fizzer. Former Finance Minister Peter Walsh tartly questioned whether B'nai B'rith's "attention might be more appropriately directed to the Israeli Government's immigration policy and practice."
The level of hysteria that was whipped up in Australia over One Nation's 'racism' now seems embarrassing. A few years down the track most influential commentators admitted that One Nation wasn't racist but appealed to people whose legitimate concerns and grievances neither of the major parties would address. Even one of the Australian's greatest Hansonophobes - Greg Sheridan - finally admitted that the 1998 federal election had really been about globalisation, not race.
How hypocritical that while the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission's Executive Director was proclaiming that RaceWatch would prevent candidates from playing the race card, simultaneously newspapers played it for all it was worth demonising One Nation as 'racist'. Worked like a charm too.
The Anti-Defamation Commission and B'nai B'rith also led the charge for the Victoria's unwanted Racial and Religious Tolerance Bill even though the Victorian Government was swamped with over 5500 public submissions, the overwhelming majority of which were opposed to the bill. The opposition covered a wide range of issues:-
· the lack of any good reason for the bill
· the threat to free speech
· the threat to missionary activity
· the subjectivity of the bill (if a person "feels" offended ...)
· the fact that a third party could make a complaint
· the refusal to consider motives
· the refusal to allow truth as a defence
· the draconian criminal penalties including fines and gaol sentences
· the threat to freedom of association.
The Anti-Defamation Commission and B'nai B'rith freely admitted that peaceful groups such as the Australian League of Rights are in their sights as needing attention. Clearly these laws aren't really about protecting rights but harassing and silencing people.
Dr William Jonas
Your editorial about race hate on the net (19/9) misses the point.
The Federal Court ruling to remove offensive racist material from a Holocaust denial website is an action taken under existing law, which makes publication of race hate material unlawful. What is new about this case is that it confirms the law applies to websites (in addition to radio, TV and print media).
Both sides of parliament supported the 1995 amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act to stop racial vilification, deciding that this law is necessary to protect citizens from harm. Unfettered freedom of speech does not exist and never has existed.
Restrictions on the freedom of speech are necessary in public life to protect the rights and freedoms of others. Examples include the law on defamation, the restriction of pornography, restrictions to protect national security and copyright law. The harm caused by racial vilification has also rightly been judged to require restrictions.
In this particular case, Fredrick Toben was given the opportunity to argue defences, including that his website published fair and accurate reports on matters of public interest; or were academic publications, made reasonably and in good faith. But he did not do so, as is clear to anyone who reads the transcript of the decision.
And finally, the reference to your columnist being investigated for alleged racial vilification of Americans failed to mention that the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission looked into the complaint and found it was lacking in substance.
Fredrick Töben replies
When I met Dr Jonas at the 'Hate on the Internet' seminar in Sydney a couple of years ago, he seemed to understand my point-of-view, that if someone talks about someone in his absence, then in serious matters (beyond gossip) a person thus talked about should, be given a right-of-reply.
The Federal Court judgment has taken this right from me by permitting individuals who espouse a certain 'Holocaust' storyline, to get away with spreading the most horrible libel placed on Germans, namely that they systematically exterminated 6 million Jews, mainly in homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz.
This libel was never tested in the Federal Court. What was tested was whether someone, under the guise of a hurt feeling, was permitted to repeat such a libel. The Federal Court found that it is quite in order to do this because, as Justice Branson stated in her judgment, it was not up to her to prove the truthfulness or otherwise of the assertion.
There is a raging debate about the 'Holocaust-Shoah'- and to silence one significant view-point on this issue is morally and intellectually unjust because balance in the debate has now been lost. I have been gagged from presenting a view on this matter that is fatal to the whole 'Holocaust' story. As this story is significant in the upholding of the Zionist-apartheid-racist State of Israel, little wonder that critics need to be silenced.
Adelaide student, Anthony Long, has an anti-Revisionist website that advocates the traditional view-point on matters 'Holocaust' www.williscarto.com
However, as the 'Jews' are not a race, nor an ethnically homogenous group, this historical 'Holocaust' issue should never have been placed before the Federal Court.
Pulling the race card to silence one's critics may work for a while, but then it will become apparent there is intellectual deceit involved.
Using the shut-up words, 'hater', 'Holocaust denier', 'antisemite', 'racist', 'neo-Nazi', does not solve the problem of understanding the period of history that has been called the 'Jewish Holocaust'.
Only an open enquiry will settle the dispute whether the Germans did or didn't gas millions of people. Stifling debate on the issue will only lead to a distortion of our understanding of what happened during World War II. Such distortions is not good for our moral and intellectual well-being.
Bigotry can't hide behind free speech
Linda Matthews, South Australian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity, Adelaide
There has been much comment in the press (The Advertiser, Opinion, yesterday) about the Federal Court's order for Fredrick Toben to remove offensive material from his Adelaide Institute website, following a complaint of racial discrimination.
While I understand the fears that these laws may have unintended consequences, it seems that the jury is still out on what is the best way to proceed.
Fearing that Fredrick Toben will move his website offshore or 'underground', or that he will receive the publicity he craves, is no reason not to take action.
However, it is also reasonable that there are laws that restrict the worst kind of bigotry.
People who abuse their rights of free speech and use the Internet as a way to promote racial hatred and discrimination should be called to account. Racial vilification laws allow fair reporting, as well as comment in the public interest, in artistic work or performances, and in parliament and the courts.
Only the most serious aspects of racial hatred are covered by the legislation, so that free speech is not overly restricted.
I paraphrase Edmund Burke's famous words: Evil flourishes when good people do nothing. To this I can only concur.
Fredrick Töben Replies
I do not recall Linda Matthews asking me whether I "crave publicity". This assertion of hers indicates what is going on in her mind. She has forgotten that as a concerned citizens we do have moral, social and legal duties to fulfill. Hence, as a concerned citizen, and as a teacher, it is my duty to make public comments on matters of public interest.
To trivialize this whole matter to one of subjective psychological needs is typical of those who fail to understand that living on an historical lie is morally and intellectually corrupting our society.
Where truth is no defence, lies flourish and relationships break down because that vital component that keeps a society cohesive - Trust - is subverted by lies. Then, however, the control freaks have a field day in devising laws that intimidate and spread a general fearfulness amongst the population. In this way free and open debate - in a civilised way - is stifled.
Yes, Linda Matthews is right, I am bigoted against those who tell lies.
It is libellous of her to accuse me of promoting 'racial hatred' by my promoting a questioning of matters 'Holocaust'.
Unfortunately, when the judgment comes into effect, Linda Matthews is free to continue this libel against me. Justice Branson's judgment has given the green light for legal persecution against my person to begin.
However, whether all this will prevent the truth from emerging, is another matter.
Her final comment indicates that a Mr Barber was a brave man when he protested with a placard outside her government office - labelling her a 'femmo-Nazi'.
Three cheers for free speech and for Natural Justice, the legal principle that offers me a right-of-reply.
Study reveals why Jews and booze don't mix
Allon Lee, The Australian Jewish News, 27 September 2002
The fact that Jews and alcohol don't mix has more to do with genetics than religion or cultural norms, according to new research that explains why the rate of alcoholism among Jews is lower than within the general community.
In a study conducted by New York Columbia University epidemiologist Dr Deborah Hasin, the role of the gene ADH2*2, which, metabolises alcohol in the body, was investigated.
When alcohol is consumed. ADH2*2 produces an enzyme which converts alcohol into a toxic substance called acetaldehyde, which in symptoms of headache, flushing and nausea.
"Those with greater levels of ADH2*2 in their genetic make-up are unlikely to drink alcohol to excess because of the cons involved and are therefore less likely to become alcoholics," Dr Hasin told the Australian Jewish News this week by telephone from New York.
A number of previous studies have attempted to explain away lower levels of alcoholism among Jews due to religious and cultural values, but alcohol is an important part of the Shabbat service, so it was necessary to analyse a genetic basis, Dr Hasin said.
The genetic make-up of 75 Israeli males of Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Russian descent aged between 22 and 65 were compared, and their alcohol consumption patterns recorded.
The research found that 20 per cent of the group had the ADH2*2 gene — a significant figure, Dr Hasin said — "more than most European Caucasian groups, where the prevalence is between .01 and .05 but certainly not as high as in Asian groups."
The data revealed that the gene's "protective" effect against alcoholism was strongest in Ashkenazism and Sephardim, as opposed to more recent immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union, who exhibited heavier drinking patterns.
"This limited study strengthens that theory. Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that this genetic variation has a protective effect against alcoholism among most Jewish groups," Dr Hasin said.
Sydney's Jewish House Crisis Centre director Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone said he was wary of attributing particular genes to a racial group based on behavioural patterns.
"I can tell you that when a Jew and a non-Jew drink a bottle of whisky, the effect is the same."
Indicating that alcohol consumption among Australian Jews is on the rise, Rabbi Woolstone said the main problem was among Jewish youth "who experiment", although this is below the national average.
Fredrick Töben comments
Note the urgency with which there is an attempt tomake the 'Jew' a race. It is sad for scientific research that it gets perverted like that.
But we have already seen how the HIV = AIDS debate has been politicised, at the expense of objective knowledge.
See the following for a detailed assessment of this HIV = AIDS hypothese.
Support for democracy in Arab states essential: Henderson
By Allon Lee, The Australian Jewish News, 27 September 2002
Support for democratic reform in Arab countries is essential if the threat of Islamism is to be dealt with, Dr Gerard Henderson says.
"The US is most popular in countries whose governments hate it, such as Iraq and Iran, whilst the US is most reviled where it supports unpopular regimes like Egypt and Saudi Arabia."
The executive director of the Sydney Institute was participating in a seminar on 'One year on' at the B'nai B'rith Centre, held to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attack on the United States.
Describing terrorism as a 20th century phenomenon that will continue into the 21st, Dr Henderson said the West must share a portion of the blame for attacks. "It would be understandable if the terrorists had managed to hijack one plane in one city, but to hijack four planes in the space of an hour is an appalling indictment of US security," he said.
Defining the enemy as "Islamism" and not Islam, he said if Islam were the adversary, Australia would be at war with Indonesia — the largest Muslim nation in the world.
Former race discrimination commissioner Zita Antonios presented a personal view from the perspective of a Lebanese Christian woman living in Australia.
Describing her Lebanese persona as Zahir, which means 'bright light' in Arabic, she said she felt unequivocally Australian.
"Most of the time, my ethnicity is irrelevant." But when it became apparent that Arabs and Muslims had committed the September 11 atrocity, her reaction was "God help us".
One of the legacies of September 11 had been the perpetuation among Arabs of negative stereotypes that are associated with people from the Middle East, Ms Antonios said.
Having to board an aircraft on September 12, 2001, she felt the same apprehension that fellow passengers did —with the added layer of guilt born of having the same skin colour as the terrorists. "I felt guilty that I should be looking for a Middle Eastern [person]. I was sucked right into the trap."
Condoning the rise in racism that also saw Jews and synagogues targeted in the wake of the attacks, Ms Antonios called on people to take heed of the United Nations Charter preamble, which affirms human rights and justice for all.
Describing the attack as an affront to the UN ideals ofpeace, dignity and freedom, US Australian director Dr Juan Carlos Brandt pointed out that more than 90 nations lost a citizen on September 11 "for no other reason that they had come towork in the United States".
The UN had shown that it was up to the challenge of global terrorism by voting "to take action against states that aid terror, involving economic and criminal measures to stop the terror", he said.
The UN had shown that it was up to the challenge of global terrorism by voting "to take action against states that aid terror, involving economic and criminal measures to stop the terror," he said
"For the first time, the UN is truly being used as an instrument for which it was founded, "Dr Brandt said.
Fredrick Töben comments
Dr Henderson's 'The Sydney Institute' is a blatant pro-Zionist outfit, and our 'Adelaide Institute's' origin stems partially from its existence: A voice was needed to balance the propaganda emanating from Henderson's falsely labelled 'right-wing' think-tank.
Although not present at that meeting, I'm certain that Henderson did not mention the physical/historical fact that Israel was born out of terrorism — it is a terrorist state.
Henderson's dialectic trick in labelling the 11 September 2001 tragedy as a result of "Islamism', serves only to obfuscate the situation, namely that to that date most governments of the middle eastern nations were in the financial claws of the US-global system, much to the regret of the Arabic-speaking peoples that spread from Morocco to Iraq.
Henderson fails to address the deeper issues that are propelling the Middle East violence — the existence of the apartheid Zionist-racist state of Israel.
Zita Antonios' presence at this gathering does not surprise; she is a vivacious lady with perhaps more instinct for personal social and financial survival than for a love of truth and justice. She was the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's (HREOC) commissioner who decided to send the Jeremy Jones complaint against Adelaide Institute immediately to a formal hearing. I had requested a conciliation meeting because I wished to hear what Jones was complaining about. It was brushed aside by Antonios because, as one of her assistants said to me on the phone: "This is an international political thing."
Her response to the 11 September tragedy is pathetic. Why should she feel guilty? Perhaps she knows that she has not been honest about many of the things that she dealt with while HREOC commissioner. Or is this part of her 'Christian' tradition — to feel guilty about matters 'Holocaust'?
My personal view about the 11 September tragedy is that because Israel's name had been solidly discredited at the August-September 2001 Durban UN Race conference that ended on 7 September. Israel had been branded an apartheid, Zionist and racist state. Four days later the tragedy occurred — and successfully deflected the attack on Israel. It became a part of the US-coalition to fight 'terrorism'. For the Palestinians this was a terrible set-back.
As in all human endeavour, there is always a contingency plan, or even plans that come into effect as needed. I see the 11 September tragedy as one such plan enacted to restore the pre-Durban conference status of Israel.
Doves and hawks
The Spectator, 31 August 2002
Last week in Gstaad was magical. the weather was perfect, the air fresh and clean, the mountains glistening in the background, the music of Mozart and Beethoven echoing in the valley below as the Yehudi Menuhin Festivl went into its last week. You wouldn't know it watching the US Open — only rap would be appropriate in that hell-hole —but playing tennis with Beethoven is really inspiring. Not enough in my case, as I lost to a lesser player after running out of steam. Having gone to a fantastic party the night before might have had something to do with it. My friend John Sutine, Gstaad's resident wit and musical genius, gave the blast for his 50th birthday. A great Brazilian band has us hopping up and down until 6 a.m. (I was asked to make a speech by John's wife, but failed miserably in my duty as I had become speechless almost from the start.) Knowing that I was leaving Gstaad for the Big Bagel made the night bittersweet and nostalgic. it is a strange thing: the fewer years one has to look forward to, the better time one has. Remember how our summers lasted longer when we were young? When all men seemed to wear hats, and all women acted like ladies?
Oh, well, there I go again, thinking about the unending summers of childhood, when I should be thinking of the launch of the American Conservative. We'll be in business in three weeks, with a press conference in DC announcing the Second Coming. I don't expect the hacks to be nice; after all, they're mostly trendy liberals and lefties, their mindset still mired in Watergate, and the glory days when two hacks and a ruthless editor brought down a president. (They tried like hell to look the other way when the Draft Dodger bullshitted his way to the White House; but he, of course, overdid things.)
But back to a good thing like the American Conservative. Last week I wrote that all sorts of types who have never worn the uniform and have never heard a shot fired in anger were pressing for war. I don't know if it's true, but I heard that when one of the most gung-ho of the warmongers was asked if he had fought in Vietnam he answered, 'Of course not, I was exempt.' Exempt for what reason, he asked. Because I was too scared to go, was his answer.
Mind you, present peaceniks such as the New York Times, are heaping abuse on President Bush for political reasons. Any Republican is anathema to the gangrenous Times, so now it has changed its tune and is backing the Pentagon's rumoured opposition to a rush to war. The idea that generals should call the tune suits me fine. I don't trust politicians, never have and never will. Only Margaret Thatcher and Jesse Helms will do in my book. But it shows how hypocritical the Times and the DC liberal-feminist cabal are when they implicitly laud the military vs civilian control. Oy veh! Just think what Uncle Sam would have done in Vietnam had scum such as the Times encouraged a military solution. We would have been victorious and out of there after levelling Hanoi and Haiphong, millions of Cambodians would not have become statistics of genocide, and Jane Fonda would not have won an Oscar for playing a whore in 1971.
See what I mean about keeping my mind on the American Conservative rather than pussy? I suddenly find all sorts of satyromaniacal perverts as anti-war allies of mine. They're doing it for political reasons, while I'm against the war because its' been ordered by Ariel Sharon. Does having worn a uniform in battle prepare a man to make better decisions than one who has not? Obviously yes is the answer, although both Adolf Hitler and the French General Staff had front-line experience in the first world war, and blew it something awful in the second. Lord Liverpool was prime minister when Wellington finally subdued Napoleon, but Liverpool did not exactly micro-manage the war. LBJ was a crook and a terrible conman, and lost the war in Vietnam because he tried to con everyone, including the little men in black pyjamas. He was in the air force during the war but never was near combat.
Clinton, of course, set the stage for 11 September by refusing to consider intelligence reports that would have prevented the bombing of Khobar Towers (June 1996), the embassy blasts of August 1998) , the attack on the Cole, October 2000, and so on. He was too busy covering his tracks for having put his you-know-what in a place I wouldn't stick the tip of my umbrella. I'm going to have to be awfully careful in DC.
Wish me luck.