Murray Lee: Fear of Crime
It would come as a surprise to many that the concept of fear of crime is a recent invention. However, prior to the mid 1960s the term was never used and certainly not in the sense we use it today. This may not on the face of it seem very significant; terms, ideas and language continually change. However, fear of crime is more than simply a term to describe a physical or psychological reaction to the threat or perceived threat of victimisation. Rather, it is now seen as a quantifiable, measurable social scientific object, a policy target, and a political issue.
This is not to suggest that there was no concern about crime in earlier periods of history. 19th century European concerns about 'dangerous criminal classes', and early 20th panics about juvenile offending clearly illustrate that. What is new however is that we should seek to measure and reflect on this fear making it an object of government intervention quite separate from crime itself.
Yet fear of crime as we've come to understand it was invented in a rather mundane way. In his January 1965 State of the Union Address and as part of the 'great society program' US president Lyndon Johnson undertook to assemble a 'panel of outstanding experts to ...search out answers to the National crime problem ...'. This panel became The President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. This body subsequently commissioned three US organizations to conduct survey work aimed at identifying the hidden extent of crime in the USA beyond what might be recorded in official police or court statistics. This was the birth of the modern 'victim' or 'crime' survey based on the models of the census and the opinion poll. Almost as an afterthought these surveys asked citizens about what came to be called their 'fear of crime'. They largely did this through the use of a scenario question: 'would you feel safe walking alone in your neighbourhood after dark'. Respondents could tick from 1-5 on a scale indicating the level of their fearfulness or otherwise. Perhaps unsurprisingly these surveys identified considerable levels of fear in the community. An almost immediate flurry of new social scientific research followed but the political fallout was even more stunning.
The final 1967 President's Commission Report included recommendations such as increased spending on education, new housing programs, new social programs and the like all aimed at continuing Johnson's 'war on poverty'. LBJ, with the intention of legislating many of these recommendations handed the process over to a congressional subcommittee chaired by puritanical Arkansas Democrat John L. McClellan. McClellan scoffed at the notion that crime might have social causes. Indeed, he picked up on report's findings that the public was fearful and stacked a series of public hearings with like-minded police officers and prosecutors. The publicity generated by these hearings fed into and fed off a public discontent about social instability and protest in 1960s America. The Bill that eventually passed into law, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act 1968, amongst other things increased police powers and reversed two court decisions based on 'civil rights' and the illegal obtaining of evidence by police.
This episode illustrates both the invention of fear of crime as we know it today and the emergence of a fear of crime feedback loop. Social scientists measure fear, policy is directed at fear, politicians campaign using fear, and in turn the public become more fearful - a fear that is then measured and so on.
So, if you are asked 'would you feel safe walking alone in your neighbourhood after dark' ask yourself a few subsequent questions before answering in the affirmative. Do you actually walk after dark? How many times have you actually felt fearful doing this? Is it crime or something else that actually scares you? Do you feel fear about crime or is it some other emotion response such as anger? While we remain alert and alarmed recent history tells us that populism will triumph over well-considered criminal justice policy. In the meantime we install our alarms and grates, suspect our neighbour and build gated communities. And while we avoid public places this increases the real level of danger as the level of 'natural surveillance' drops. If crime statistics tell us two things that are useful to repeat in this context it is that the most dangerous place for most of us is in our own homes and that the most likely offenders are the ones we know and love.
Murray Lee is Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney. His book: Inventing Fear of Crime: Criminology and the politics of anxiety, Willan Publishing, Distributor: The Federation Press. ISBN 978 1 843921 745.
Foreword - STATISTICS 2006
Western Europe: France, Greece, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom
CIS and Baltic States: Baltic States: Belarus
Transcaucasia and Central Asia
North America: USA, Latin America, Venezuela
Australasia and South Africa: New Zealand, South Africa
The 281 reports of anti-Jewish violence, vandalism, harassment and intimidation logged in Australia in 2005 represented the lowest figure since 1997. A disturbingly large volume of overt antisemitic propaganda emanated from Islamic sources in Australia in 2005. Two new complaints about antisemitic propaganda were lodged by the Australian Jewish community with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in 2005.
The Jewish community
The 115–120,000 Jews in Australia out of a total population of over 20 million constitute the largest Jewish community in the East Asia Pacific Region. The great majority of Australian Jews live in Melbourne (50,000) and Sydney (45,000), but there are also significant communities in Perth, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Adelaide.
The elected representative organization of the Jewish community is the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). The community is served by two Jewish weeklies and several other periodicals. High enrolment in Jewish day schools and a comparatively low rate of intermarriage are characteristic features of Australian Jewry.
Jewish Australians have twice been appointed governors-general, Jewish Australians have served in the senior leadership ranks of the country’s military forces and the community has been able to build an impressive network of institutions to serve its needs.
A plethora of groups in Australia promote antisemitism, and for some it is their raison d’être. The groups vary greatly in membership, activities and target audiences. It should be noted that besides extreme right organizations some groups identified with quasi-New Age and Islamist philosophies also feed a steady stream of anti-Jewish propaganda to their followers, while a number of extreme left-wing groups disseminate crude anti-Zionist material.
The Far Left
Although the many small groups which comprise the Australian far left often make declarations critical of racism in all its forms, demonization of Israel is a common thread and the extremes of language used to condemn Zionism and Israel promote a mythology of a powerful and evil Jewish ‘internationalism’, almost indistinguishable from that depicted by the far right.
The myth of Jewish power, wielded nationally and/or internationally, is espoused and/or tolerated by a number of self-styled left-wing groups. Alleged Jewish power is seen as the force behind globalization; some left-wingers also portray Jews as malevolent forces controlling western governments. A number of small political groups that describe themselves as communist, socialist or anarchist, such as the Socialist Alliance, the Communist League, the Communist Party of Australia and Socialist Alternative, share with the far right a vigorous opposition to the ‘establishment’ and the perceived power holders. Although there are some differences in the approach to Israel taken by these groups, the general attitude is that Israel, and sometimes, more ambiguously, the Jewish community, is clearly in the camp of their enemies and therefore a fair target for abuse, delegitimation and defamation.
Although in recent years most far left groups have invoked the Nazi Holocaust in their attacks on Jews and Israel, in 2005 this theme was absent from party publications - possibly due to public criticism of the use of this analogy from Jewish community representatives - but appeared in online discussion forums.
Extreme Right and Religious Groups
Traditional far right organizations are supplemented by a changing array of individuals and minute groupings, including some which have established their presence primarily through the Internet. The existence of Labour state governments in all Australian states has fed the paranoia of ‘socialist’ control which is central to these organizations.
The One Nation party, which enjoyed a brief period of electoral success in the late 1990s but has been in decline ever since, had representatives in the Federal Senate (until 30 June 2005) and in the parliaments of Western Australia and Queensland, as well as a small number of active members. While an article published in the One Nation newspaper in 2004 was before the courts under the Racial Hatred Act, another article appeared in a branch newsletter (in print and on the Internet), alleging a Zionist/Jewish world conspiracy and denying the Holocaust (26 Aug. 2005).
The theme of Judaism as anti-Christian plays a part in the conspiracy theories of several extremist groups, such as the Australian League of Rights, the Adelaide Institute, the British-Israel World Federation, ‘Identity’ churches and some self-styled Biblical Fundamentalists. The Talmud is a subject for distortion and misrepresentation by these groups and others aiming to vilify Jews, and in the rhetoric of the far right symbolizes a code of living implacably opposed to ‘Christian justice’. During the year such misinformation appeared in leaflets, hate mail and abusive telephone calls, and was evident in cross-borrowing from the Internet.
The Bible Believers website published a full copy of Henry Ford’s The International Jew and a great deal of other overtly antisemitic material, resulting in a complaint lodged in 2004 under Australia’s anti-racism laws for adjudication in the Federal Court.
The Adelaide Institute, a loose conglomeration of individuals around self-styled Holocaust revisionist Fredrick Toben, has in recent years disseminated arguably the most vicious and malicious anti-Jewish propaganda of any Australian group. Despite a series of findings by the Human Rights Commission and the Federal Court against the Institute’s website, Toben continues to publish antisemitic material and to maintain an international profile, with support from state-sponsored Iranian media.
The Citizens’ Electoral Councils (CECs), based in suburban Melbourne, engage in mass mailings of literature reflecting the antisemitic conspiracy theories of their guru Lyndon LaRouche. Anti-racist groups in general and Jewish organizations in particular have been amongst the CECs’ favorite targets. Although the LaRouche organization spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on electoral campaigns, the CECs have had no success whatsoever. Over the years, members of the Jewish community in all Australian states have complained about the LaRouchites’ distribution of conspiracy theorist propaganda, particularly on campuses.
The Australian Civil Liberties’ Union (ACLU) continued to advocate Holocaust denial. John Bennett, the Union’s motivating force, sat on the editorial advisory committee of the defunct Journal of Historical Review, published by the Institute for Historical Review in California.
Racist skinheads not necessarily aligned to any formal organization are present in small numbers in cities and towns throughout Australia and have allegedly been involved in racist violence against Asian students and harassment of members of left-wing groups. Attempts by extremists, notably, those identified with National Action, to exploit these groups or direct their violence toward Jews and other minorities, are common. In December 2005, a brawl on the Sydney beach of Cronulla saw racist skinheads involved in inciting violent attacks on people of Middle Eastern background.
Several of the most virulent far right activists participated in discussions in forums of the neo-Nazi Stormfront Downunder site. They included representatives of White Pride Coalition of Australia, the Australian Nationalists Movement, Church of the Creator and Australian National Action.
The newspaper The Strategy, published in regional Victoria, draws its inspiration from the US-based racists of the Patriot Movement. Extracts from LaRouche news services and the antisemitic US magazine Spotlight, as well as praise for the activities of Australian right-wing extremists are typical of the content, while a cross-section of extremist groups places advertisements in its pages.
Hard Evidence, formerly Exposure, continues to publish bizarre, sometimes antisemitic, conspiracy theories, and aggressively advertises past copies of the magazine, which include material of Australian and US far right groups and publications, as well as antisemitic tracts such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Several New Age magazines, such as Nexus and New Dawn, promote extreme right writers, organizations and conspiracy theories.
During 2005, the ECAJ logged 281 reports of anti-Jewish violence, vandalism, harassment and intimidation, the lowest figure since 1997. Nevertheless, this number is about twice that recorded in the early 1990s. Although many of the incidents were threats rather than physical attacks on persons or property, hundreds of Jewish individuals and organizations were targeted, some many times over, by persons seeking to frighten or harass them. Most of the attacks were anonymous.
Antisemitic individuals or those associated with far left publications or extreme right organizations may have been sources of inspiration or served as justification for these attacks. The Internet facilitated anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, which occasionally reached the mainstream media and broader audiences. The virulence of some public criticism of Israeli actions and their continued misrepresentation, as well as misinformation about Israel’s history and politics serve to encourage and rationalize anti-Jewish bigotry.
Violence, Vandalism, Harassment and Insults
Although the number of incidents of assault, arson and vandalism in 2005 was the lowest since 1998, the combined figure for physical assault, property damage, vandalism, graffiti and face-to-face harassment was nevertheless 3 percent above average. The rate of threats, conveyed by telephone, mail, leaflets, posters or e-mail, was average for the 15-year period.
Reports of anti-Jewish graffiti were 40 percent above the annual average. The level of e-mail harassment, which had risen continuously until 2004, returned to pre-2001 amounts in 2005. There was no discernible difference in the themes contained in e-mail messages from those sent through the postal service or communicated by telephone.
Coverage of issues relating to the Australian Jewish community by the mainstream media is extensive and out of all proportion to the community’s size. However, it is generally responsible and does not play unduly on the ‘Jewishness’ of individuals or of issues. There are no overtly antisemitic radio stations, newspapers or television broadcasters; however, some comments and letters in mainstream publications in 2005, although much fewer than in the previous four years, contained antisemitic references. They included: a description by a mainstream columnist of Douglas Feith, US Under Secretary for Defense until Aug. 05, as a “mad-eyed Zionist” (Sydney Morning Herald, 22 Jan.); a comment by a contestant in the TV show “Big Brother” that a rival perceived as ungenerous was a “Jew” (TV10, 14 May); antisemitic comments broadcast by callers to late night radio (Sydney 2GB 24 July).
There were also concerns about Internet bulletin boards associated with mainstream media. Examples included: Holocaust denying comments posted by Fredrick Toben of the Adelaide Institute in the online guestbook of ABC Radio National’s “Saturday Breakfast” (22 May 2005); Holocaust denial and attacks on “the jews” posted anonymously on the Canberra Times Internet discussion forum (18 Aug.); and a series of posts including promotion of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, claims that “Jewish hands” control all US media and assertions that all antisemitism was the result of Jewish ‘actions’ on the Dateline Forum of SBS television (31 Dec.). The “Web-diary” of the Sydney Morning Herald published a number of anti-Jewish items under then editor Margo Kingston.
Arab and Muslim Communities
Australia’s Muslim and Arabic-speaking communities are large and vibrant. While Jews are not their main pre-occupation, discussion of the Middle East can cross the line from lively political debate to the realm of religious and racial stereotyping; in fact, there was a disturbingly large volume of overt antisemitism from Islamic sources in Australia in 2005.
Both the Arabic-speaking and the Islamic communities are served by a vigorous media, both in Arabic and English, which generally avoid inflammatory or offensive language, but which reflect the existence of extremist and antisemitic viewpoints within the communities they serve. For example, the publication Nida’ul Islam, which is available online and as a glossy magazine, prints extreme views of members of the Islamic community in Australia and from a range of overseas commentators. The tone towards Jews is often hateful and inflammatory. Much of the material published in Nida’ul Islam infers the existence of an anti-Islamic conspiracy run by Jews but also including most rulers of Arab and Islamic states.
The issue of Salam, the magazine of the Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth, distributed in February, included an article on the Jews in the time of the Prophet which portrayed them as lying, deceitful, barbaric and scheming, and another by Swiss fundamentalist theologian Tariq Ramadan headed, “My Fellow Muslims, We Must Fight Anti-Semitism,” reprinted from the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.
The online forums of Islamic Sydney provided evidence of the proliferation of antisemitic myths within the Australian Muslim community. In January, a discussion took place on “Freemasons and Freemasonry,” in which it was alleged Masonry “serves the aims of world Jewry” and “the core of absolute secrecy and strict hierarchy enables it to make use of the positions and influence of its non-Jewish members to serve the Jewish cause.” In another discussion, ‘Afroz’, a forum mediator, referred to concerns about antisemitism as “a whole lot of huloo buloo” with “the use of victim mentality to make others a victim of theirs [sic]” (25 May). In another discussion, it was alleged that “a Satanic Cult” comprising Jews “rules the world” (15 June). Other contributors wrote: “Al-Qaeda is a Jewish myth just like the Holocaust” (21 Oct.); “Jewish fundamentalism for instance teaches... Gentiles should not even be considered or treated as human beings” (8 Dec. 2005) and “Jews and Muslims were enemies even in the prophet’s time” (20 Dec.). Misrepresentations of the Talmud and Judaism were posted to various forums (most extensively on 20 Dec.).
Similarly, depictions of Judaism as existentially opposed to non-Jews, in general, and/or to Islam, in particular, appeared on the discussion forum of the Islamic Association of Australia (2 March); Mission Islam (Australia) (22 July); Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah’s Islamic Information and Support Centre of Australia (18 Aug.) and Mecca News (7 Oct.).
In 2005, a number of Australian journalists exposed the promotion of vicious antisemitic material circulating amongst Islamic youth in Australia and the sale of books such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion at major bookstores serving the Islamic community. The spokesperson for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia stated that “Jews are a people of slander” and that it was appropriate to kill Jews to “establish an Islamic state” (ABC Radio, 25 July).
Notably, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, the roof body of Australian Muslims, was among the groups which publicly condemned antisemitism in the Islamic community in 2005 (21 July).
Antisemitic individuals and groups in Australia have found the Internet has provided them with a great volume of defamatory literature and the facility to reproduce ‘state of the art’ antisemitism. The submission of pieces from Australia defaming Judaism in online discussion groups of religion, which began in 1994, continued throughout the period in review.
As noted above, the discussions on Islamic and Arabic Internet forums and the content of postings to newsgroups testify to a vigorous anti-Jewish sub-culture. Extreme right groups have also used Internet discussion groups to maintain their sense of community, and to encourage followers to be involved in campaigns.
In addition, the influential far left Indymedia network, particularly Sydney Indymedia, is the source of extremely anti-Israel and overtly antisemitic material. Examples include: “the story of Zionism is the story of Nazism and Apartheid rolled into one” (Sydney Indymedia, 2 Feb.); “it is their duty as Jews to steal from those around them that are not Jewish” (Melbourne Indymedia, 2 Feb.); “the jews… willingly perform ritualistic rape and mutilations and drinking of infant blood” (Sydney Indymedia, 8 March 2005); “I hope someone puts you in a gas chamber sometime soon” (Indymedia, 9 March); “the international Jewish involvement in banking and finance is legendary… New York is the center of the world wide Jewish financial power” (Sydney Indymedia, 14 Nov.) and “jewish infested local radio talk shows have broadcast lies to instigate unrest” culminating in racist-based violence in Sydney (Sydney Indymedia, 13 Dec.).
In 2003, 2004 and 2005, e-mail accounted for more than half the number of incidents of anti-Jewish harassment and intimidation.
ATTITUDES TOWARD THE HOLOCAUST AND THE NAZI ERA
Although there is little evidence to suggest Holocaust denial has an impact on the way the Holocaust is taught, or has any influence on scholars or scholarship, the dissemination of material which offends, ridicules and intimidates Holocaust survivors and their families is a key activity of extreme right-wing elements in Australia. Typical behavior of deniers is to write letters to newspapers requesting a debate on the facts of the Holocaust or asserting that since one or more details relating to the Holocaust is not correctly understood, a massive fraud has been perpetrated on humanity by those who can benefit from it. They also promote material for journalists, students and others claiming that they are being denied a fair hearing of ‘the truth’ or send Holocaust denial material directly to individuals who have been identified as survivors or descendants of survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. The Australian Justice Fund, for example, leafleted a Sydney suburb housing a large number of Holocaust survivors with material promoting Holocaust denial.
While the mainstream media generally made efforts to respond to Holocaust commentaries in a respectful and meaningful way, ABC Radio National’s “Perspective” program devoted its broadcast on Holocaust Memorial Day (5 May 2005) to an attack on Israel which included derogatory anti-Jewish comments.
RESPONSES TO ANTISEMITISM and racism
Official and Public Activity
In 2004, the Federal House of Representatives and the Federal Senate, as well as the NSW and Victorian parliaments, all formulated strongly worded resolutions condemning antisemitism, with the federal houses of parliament instructing the diplomatic service to take up the matter at multilateral and bilateral international forums. Similarly, in 2005, the South Australian parliament unanimously condemned antisemitism.
Concerns about racism have prompted responses from opinion leaders, including politicians in state and federal parliaments. Over the past six years, Most state and territory legislatures have passed motions condemning racism, calling for reconciliation and affirming the values of tolerance and diversity. The federal government instituted a National Harmony Day, on United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racism, which is marked by government and the community in various ways, but is generally used to honor individuals and organizations active in promoting Australian multiculturalism.
When one parliamentarian, Julia Irvin MP, attacked Judaism and Christianity in what appeared to be an attempt to respond to criticism of Islamist extremists, she was criticized in the media, including an editorial in the authoritative Australian (30 Nov.) and a join statement by Christian, Jewish and Islamic leaders (5 Dec.), as well as by her political opponents and her own party leader, Kim Beazley, MP.
Cooperation between religious communities in 2005 included joint actions against racism and intolerance, such as sessions at a mosque and church in Sydney in the days following anti-Muslim activity in Cronulla and arson of a church in an area with a large Muslim population, as well as supportive statements by one or another of the Australian religious denominations. Active collaboration continued, particularly in youth interfaith projects, between leading Jewish, Christian and Muslim organizations, both federally and in the states of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.
Churches were important proponents of diversity and tolerance, often in concert with the Jewish community. The Uniting Church in Australia is continuing to explore ways of taking joint action with the Jewish community to combat prejudice. The Catholic Church has been promoting inter-religious and multi-faith understanding since the start of the new millennium. Relations between the Anglican Church and the Jewish community also seemed to be improving.
Church and service organizations continue to assert moral leadership by refusing to allow racist and anti-Jewish groups to hire their premises and advising representatives not to share platforms with known extremists. As a result extremist anti-Jewish groups are experiencing increasing difficulty in finding premises in which to meet and in convincing respectable Australians to participate in their activities.
Australia participated in all four Stockholm Forums against intolerance since their inception in 2000, as well as the Durban UN World Conference against Racism, and members of the Jewish community have been on the official Australian government delegations at all five of these events.
In December 2004 the Australian and Indonesian governments co-hosted a major regional inter-governmental meeting to promote inter-religious cooperation for tolerance and against extremism. The Australian government and the New Zealand government both included Jewish community representatives. Further, the Australian government promoted interfaith dialogue as part of its foreign policy programs in Asia during 2005.
While no new matters relating to antisemitism were determined under Australia’s anti-racism legislation, two new complaints were lodged by the ECAJ with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in 2005: concerning the publication of overtly antisemitic material on the website of the Bible Believers and in the Queensland newspaper of the One Nation Party (see above). They were due to for adjudication in 2006.
In Western Australia in April, a right-wing extremist, Shannon Post, was jailed for six months and three weeks for his a graffiti attack on a Perth synagogue in July 2004.
Professor Noam Chomsky made it clear how freedom of speech and scientific research really work in our >>democratic Brave New World<<. The newsmakers set the framework for discussions, they select the discussion panel and the audience. Political parties call that branch-stacking. The scientists will research only within the framework given by the universities, government bureaucrats. The scientists will only research within this framework because – and they all know if they don’t - funding for their projects will be withdrawn and their reputations will be destroyed by calling them >>dissident-revisionist scientists, heretics, deniers or even worse >>useful idiots<<.
The same applies, of course to historians who will only find in the archives what they are permitted to find, and publish what their political masters allow them to publish. If you don’t the history and science mafia will crucify you. The most recent example from Australia is the Keith Windschuttle affair.
The mind manipulators and the newsmakers in >>our<< national broadcaster ABC, recently bought the rights to screen the UK Channel 4 program: The Global Warming Swindle, which gave them the right to screen or not to screen the program.
It is the newsmakers and social engineers within our democratic people’s Republic Broadcasters who decide what is science or pseudo-science, history or pseudo-history.
Well, we all know that the Socratic mind has been murdered and the Orwellian >Big Brother< mindset rules supreme.
But there is one fatal flaw for these manipulators and huxters - it is our weapon of mass instruction – the mighty Internet!
It took Tony Jones and the ABC commissars at least 4 weeks to >select< the audience and discussion panel for >their< >>Global Warming Swindle<<
None of the big guns of weather and environmental science were on the panel.* Why not, Mr Jones? For example, where was Professor Ian Plymer, University of South Australia?
The ABC version of the Global Warming Swindle program was censored – the whole Al Gore section regarding his political ambitions and the criticism of his film Inconvenient Truths conveniently disappeared into the ABC’s memory hole. When the fox starts preaching the Gospel, watch your chicken.
Discussion panel member Professor Bob Carter made that clear to moderator, Tony Jones, who looked puzzled and replied: >>We may deal with that in another program<<. Not likely!
Carter, of course, is right by stating that we can and we must reduce pollution, but we cannot change the climate.
So, after more than a million Australians watched this program, we still don’t know if global warming is mainly man-made or not.
This must not give the main polluters of our planet – India and China – the green light to continue to polute planet Earth.
To keep polluting our planet we certainly all have to clean up our act.
1. The big disappointment in the ABC Global Warming Swindle-censured version was that the non-man-made global warming scientists in the UK program were not challenged by the ABC discussion panel and the selected audience – point-by-point, and refuted.
2. The corruption and incompetence within the ICPP and UN bodies were not addressed.
3. The billion dollar global warming industry which feeds tens of thousands of experts travelling first class from one congress to another achieving nothing was not addressed.
4. The role change of the ex-communist who hopped on to the green bandwagon after the fall of the Berlin Wall, lining their pockets - was not addressed.
5. The comment of the ex-Green Peace boss, saying everyone who dissents from the official global warming mantra is defamed as an heretic – Revisionist and compared to Holocaust deniers – was not addressed.
6. Moderator Tony Jones’ interview with the producer of the UK Channel 4’s Global Warming Swindle program, Martin Durkin, was not fair and not based on scientific fact but rather resembled the typical ABC left-wing form of character assassination – was not addressed.
Now let’s briefly have a closer look at the non-experts writing books about global warming religion and profiting handsomely from it.
Take Mark Lynas, for example, who wrote a book called Six Degrees, and he appeared on the ABC Science program, run by Dr Robin Williams, who was also a member of the discussion panel. Williams, by the way, was one of the main persons within the ABC who opposed the screening of the documentary on account of it >>damaging the ABC’s reputation<<. So much for free expression and scientific research within the ABC.
So what is Mark Lynas’s contribution to the global warming religion? He calls the dissenting scientists >>useful idiots<<
He calls cosmic rays, sun spots and clouds – which do contribute to global warming – STUFF!
He says any attempt to prove the dissenting scientists wrong is: >>A waste of time<<! He jumps on to the Holocaust bandwagon – another religion - and says:
>>Climate denial is like Germans watching Jews in cattle trains on the way to Auschwitz while playing football along the railroad lines<<
That, Mark, is one for the strong in the heart and weak in the head! What is your message here? What is the link? Are you saying the crematoria at Auschwitz contributed to global warming? Or is it just a smoke screen for us so the global warming engineers can silence their own colleagues instead of proving them wrong?
At the end of the program Lynar’s tells us:
>>You don’t have to trust me if you don’t want to<<
Well, I don’t trust you, Mark for the following reasons:
1. You are not a scientist but a journalist. Do you recall what John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of the New York Times said at the New York Press Club in 1953 about journalists? –
>>There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions and, if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.
I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with …and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.
If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it – and what folly is this toasting to an independent press?
We are tools and vassals for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks; they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.<<
In order to be fair to the few journalists who do not own their mind to Murdoch and others, one has to say not all of them are intellectual prostitutes, for example, Chris Masters and the late Paul Lynam. Or, take what Rupert Murdoch’s father, Keith Murdoch, 1885-1952, stated at the Herald & Weekly Times AGM on 29 November 1946:
>>The press must be more than merely free. It must be fact-finding, truth-telling, truth-seeking to the limit of human capacity and enterprise<<.
2. You, the non-scientist, calls dissenting scientists >>useful idiots<<! This compliment should be given right back to you!
3. You argue that proving dissident scientists wrong >>is a waste of time<<. I say, listen to such comment of yours is a waste of time.
4. Your populist un-scientific and un-professional attempt to link the dissident scientists – or deniers, as you call them – with the Holocaust is beyond contempt, an insult to the victims of the Holocaust and to the German nation!
This whole mindset here and the language used reminds me of Communist Europe during the 1950s.
>>What cannot happen is not allowed to happen<<
So you better believe – remember that the >Cuckoo’s Nest< is everywhere and the Gulags are just around the corner. I don’t want to believe, Mark Lynar because I have a right to know.
Remember, Mark, whatever the war is we are fighting, nobody wins in wars but Wall Street. The usurers, speculators and company raiders do not build and create. They eat the bread and drink the sweat of those who create wealth. What they have in common with hookers is they both screw people for money, with one major difference: The hooker provides a valid service to the community while the usurers and speculators, like Borsky and Soros, do exactly the opposite. They destroy whole communities and countries, creating starvation and wars. Let’s abort them for good.
Let me close with the thoughts expressed by Professor Carl Wunsch, a scientist who initially was prepared to appear on the UK Global Warming Swindle program but then distanced himself from it: >>Science is not about proofs. Science is about possibilities.<<
* Dr Tim Flannery, Australian of the Year 2006; Dr Karl S Kruszelnicki, Julius Sumner Miller Fellow, The Science Foundation for Physics, The University of Sydney; Professor Roger V Short, University of Melbourne; Dr Steve Williams, Senior Research Fellow, James Cook University; Dr James Risby, Climatologist, School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University; Professor Stuart B Hill, Foundation Chair of Social Ecology, School of Social Biology, University of Western Sydney; Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Head of the Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland; Professor Tony McMichael, Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU; Dr Chris Mitchell, CEO, Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting; Dr Peter Scaife, Director, Centre for Sustainable Technology, University of Newcastle; Anna Reynolds, Manager of WWF Australia’s Climate Change Program; Liz Minchin, Environment Reporter, The Age newspaper.
Germany to host anti-Semitism exhibit
Germany’s Foreign Ministry will open a new exhibit on contemporary European anti-Semitism on Wednesday.
The exhibition, titled “Anti-Semitism? Anti-Zionism? Criticism of Israel?” will be on display in the ministry’s courtyard in Berlin. Later it will move to the Technical University of Berlin and other locations across Germany .A joint effort of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel and the Center for Anti-Semitism Studies at the Technical University, the show presents the history of Jewish life in Europe and the history of anti-Semitism. The exhibit also focuses on anti-Semitic incidents in Europe over the last decade.
Among the speakers at the opening ceremony will be Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and Prof. Wolfgang Benz, director of the Technical University’s Center for Anti-Semitism Studies. The exhibit is being funded by Germany's Center for Political Education.
Germany and Israel Unite to Film the Story of Concentration Camp's Clown
German and Israeli filmmakers have come together to tackle the subject of the Holocaust for the first time in an ambitious screen adaptation of a bestselling novel.
Their groundbreaking collaboration over the highly sensitive topic has attracted a star-studded cast in what has been described as a 'tightrope walk' of a project. Adam Resurrected, based on a darkly comic 1969 novel by popular Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk, tells the story of Adam Stein, a Jewish-German clown who is forced to entertain inmates in a Nazi concentration camp. His life is spared only because he plays his violin for the prisoners being sent to the gas chamber.
Jeff Goldblum is to play the part of Adam, while Willem Dafoe will play the concentration camp commandant who forces him to act like a dog. Goldblum has described it as 'the most difficult role I have ever had to play'. Directed by Paul Schrader, who is best known for his screenplay for Taxi Driver, and produced by the Israeli Ehud Bleiberg and the German Werner Wirsing, the harrowing film has been compared to Roberto Benigni's Oscar-winning Holocaust 'black comedy' Life is Beautiful.
One German critic wrote that Adam Resurrected was a 'risky tightrope walk which, if it is too funny, is in danger of mocking Holocaust survivors, if it is too serious, misrepresents the character of the book'. Top German actors such as Moritz Bleibtreu and Veronica Ferres also have starring roles along with several Israeli household names such as Ayelet Zurer, who was in Steven Spielberg's Munich.
Much of Adam Resurrected is set in an asylum for Holocaust survivors in Israel's Negev desert where Stein is sent to recover from a nervous breakdown after he goes in search of his last surviving family member.
To research the role Goldblum visited Israel and spoke to Holocaust survivors. He also spent time in Berlin. He also took violin lessons so he could properly portray his character.
When Kaniuk published his novel in Israel it was a flop. The 77-year-old writer said: 'At that time no one in Israel wanted to hear victims' stories.'
The £7m film, which was filmed in Haifa, Tel Aviv, Romania and Germany, is tipped to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/146821.htm
When an editor at the Washington Post heard that I oppose laws criminalising Holocaust and, by extension, genocide denial, he observed: ‘Now that’s a “man bites dog” story.’
His surprise is shared by many people who hear my view. These folks expect that, given the six-year legal battle to which British historian David Irving subjected me for calling him a Holocaust denier, I would be a strong proponent for such laws. The legal battle was exceptionally costly and it seriously disrupted my life.
Irving and his fellow deniers are liars and falsifiers of truth when it comes to the Holocaust and even to other aspects of history – for example, the bombing of Dresden. This alone makes some people think his outrageous claims should be outlawed.
Regarding Irving, who seems to me to love to say the outrageous, and his version of so-called history, the judge who presided over our legal battle – Judge Charles Gray – was unambiguous. In his judgment he used the following terms: ‘perverts’, ‘distorts’, ‘misleading’, ‘unjustified’, ‘travesty’, and ‘unreal’, and said his ‘falsification of the historical record was deliberate’. So why not silence Irving and his compatriots? First of all, I believe in free speech. In the United States, the First Amendment guarantees people a right to make total fools of themselves. Sometimes it is painful to hear, but I would rather they had the freedom to say what they wished than the government had the power to control them.
Furthermore, I do not believe that laws against denial are strategically wise. They tend to make martyrs of the accused, arousing sympathy for them. They also render the item which has been outlawed ‘forbidden fruit’. Thus it becomes more enticing and appealing to certain segments of society – disaffected youth, for example.
Most importantly, however, genocide denial laws suggest that we do not have the facts and the documentation to prove that these people are liars. We defeated David Irving in court not with law but with facts. We followed his footnotes and demonstrated that, in the words of Professor Richard Evans, Irving’s work on the Holocaust was a ‘tissue of lies’.
Our defeat of Irving is a far more powerful commentary on his work because it is rooted in the facts and did not occur under the cover of a general law outlawing Holocaust denial. I was, of course, quite lucky in that I had a magnificent legal team and group of historical experts.
The effort was long and quite costly. (Though certainly not as costly as David Irving likes to claim it was. I recently spotted an estimate of six million dollars on his webpage. Notice, of course, his choice of number. This is complete fiction and his form of ridicule.) I was able to mount a vigorous defence. Irving’s reputation as a person with something of value to say about the Holocaust was left in tatters.
Ironically, none of this would have happened had the UK had laws outlawing Holocaust denial.
I shudder at the thought that politicians might be given the power to legislate history. They can hardly fix the potholes in our streets. How can we expect them to decide what is the proper version of history?
Let me add two caveats. I believe quite strongly that those who engage in incitement – which is often the object of denial – and lead others to engage in acts of violence should not be granted a shield of protection by the law. Some people throw stones. Others use words to encourage people to throw stones. Both are equally guilty.
Secondly, I fully understand why countries such as Germany and Austria, the countries which spawned the Holocaust, would have laws against Holocaust denial. The geographic context in which something is said is of crucial importance. The swastika or denial of the Holocaust has a different resonance in Atlanta than it does in Berlin or Vienna.
I know this may be inconsistent, but I am reminded of what the American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote many years ago: ‘A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.’
I write this from Sarajevo. Today, a professor, who happens to be a Serb, told me that she believes laws against genocide denial are necessary in this region: denying the horrors that took place here in the mid-1990s should be illegal, at least for the near future. She argued that this is a region in which the ‘rule of law’ has never been imposed justly, fairly, and democratically. A law outlawing denial of the genocide and crimes against humanity which occurred in this region would give people that faith and prevent them from trying to find other ways of seeking justice.
I don’t agree with these positions; however, I recognise that I say these things in the luxury of my American university or, as I will on Monday evening, in the confines of London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. It can be different when one has an ‘up close and personal’ perspective on these outrages.
Ultimately, our objective should be to create a society where denial of genocide is seen as so outrageous and so despicable that anyone who engages in it would be rendered a pariah.
Deborah E Lipstadt is Dorot Professor at Emory University and the author of History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving, published by Ecco 2005.
She is speaking in the debate Should Genocide Denial Be An Offence? at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in central London at 7pm this evening (Monday, 16 July). Other speakers include David Cesarani, research professor in history at Royal Holloway College, University of London, and author of Eichmann: His Life and Crimes; Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent and author of Politics of Fear: Beyond Left and Right; and Francesca Klug, professorial research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE, and author of Values for a Godless Age. For more information, click here.
A new EU directive has made "publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes" an offence which is punishable by law. Should deniers of genocide be allowed to propagate lies and historical distortions when these distortions are designed to instigate violence? Does the proposed EU-wide legislation confuse the role of the judge and the historian, is such a ban workable, and what are the legal and philosophical implications of its passage into law? Speakers: Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot professor of modern Jewish and holocaust studies at Emory University in Atlanta, defendant in the David Irving vs Penguin and Lipstadt case and author of History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier; David Cesarani, research professor in history at Royal Holloway College, University of London and author of Eichmann: His Life and Crimes; Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent and author of Politics of Fear: Beyond Left and Right; Francesca Klug, professorial research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE, and author of Values for a Godless Age.
There will be a book signing in the ICA bookshop following this talk.
£10 / £9 Concessions / £8 ICA Members http://www.spikedonline.com/index.php?/site/article/3609/
This documentary about World War II would better belong in a series called >>what never occurred<< because while Adolf Hitler declared war on America, threats were about all he threw at the US. Why this was so is familiar to anybody even vaguely interested in the war. The Germans did not have a bomber with the range to cross the Atlantic, let alone return to the Reich. They lacked both the technology and the manufacturing capacity to get their prototypes for intercontinental missiles up to speed. The war in Europe meant they had problems closer to home.
The result is this Seinfeld of a documentary about nothing much, because the war against the Nazis was fought in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, in the skies over western Europe, in the North African desert, on the Russian steppes and among the Normandy hedgerows, but never in New York.
But the documentary-makers had 50 minutes to fill and so they describe at length German fantasies about terror attacks on Manhattan. There is more detail than anyone needs on the Nazis’ incompetent attempts to infiltrate saboteurs into the city.
But this was still not enough so they added an explanation of why many Americans did not want to get involved in a European war and how Hitler did President Franklin Roosevelt a huge favour by declaring war on the US after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.
To give the show a semblance of credibility there are talking heads – elderly talking heads – whose main qualification to discuss the subject is their willingness to appear on television. And to provide it with relevance, Hitler’s dream is pitched as a plan for September 11, 50 years earlier. And so it was because what the Nazis wanted to do would have no impact on the American war effort. Nor would they ever have had the conventional bombing capacity to do much damage to New York. Bringing down the Empire State building, however, would have been a propaganda victory. But so what? For all the comparisons with the destruction of the World Trade Centre twin towers the documentary could just as sensibly have compared the German plans with a Confederate plot to set New York on fire in 1864.
This documentary is merely filler for networks with more broadcast hours to fill than they have money to spend. At best it is an excellent example of human ingenuity: stretching this show to 50 minutes is no mean feat. At worst it demonstrates the thickness of SBS’s hide in screening this utter forgettable program in prime time.
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