Fiamma Nirenstein

You can’t fight Holocaust denial with imprisonment

My reasons for not agreeing with the crime of denial are the opposite of those of the 5-Star Movement, whose reference to “complexity” is simply laughable. I fear that the new Grillini senators and representatives know little of “complexity,” especially when it refers to the Jewish condition and situation: it can be seen from their absurd stances regarding the State of Israel, which succeed one another rather frequently. Therefore, let’s hope that they devote their energy to something else.

Holocaust denial cannot be fought in court; moreover, there are no ad hoc laws in several countries that are very much concerned with the subject, such as Israel. It is in fact a global perversion, spread throughout the world from a malodorous European back room headed by Roger Garaudy (defined by Gaddafi as the greatest European philosopher since Plato and Aristotle), who like Robert Faurisson gave it an airing in some of his tours financed by the Islamic world, by the stern mask of David Irvin and the painfully ridiculous one of Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, by playing to certain members of the reactionary high aristocracy and backward skinheads… becoming a global roar, a primary instrument of antisemitism.

Holocaust deniers do not use antisemitism as a weapon. Denial is a basic weapon of contemporary antisemitism that is increasing at an alarming rate in Europe and remains at a high level in the Islamic world. We cannot imprison all Holocaust deniers; we can fight against all anti-Semitics politically.

You cannot fight Holocaust denial alone; it is impossible without facing antisemitism head on, which Europe shamefully refuses to do. Moreover, almost half of the Jewish citizens of the EU countries have suffered attacks or threats relating to their religion: if the Old Continent had the least respect for itself, it would stand up and kick out anyone who repeats that which created the worst episode of Europe’s history on its soil. It does not do so, and even denies the phenomenon: Sweden is being emptied of Jews; Jewish emigration in France is higher than it has ever been before; it is growing in England and the Netherlands; and even in this sweet country of ours the air is not so good. The President of the Republic, who yesterday was warmly welcomed by a large crowd at the Synagogue to remember the assault on the Ghetto, has always been a standard-bearer for the fight against anti-Semitism. He was among the first to denounce the identification between it and hatred for Israel. But in the past few years the wave has turned into a global tsunami, and denial has become tinged with all colors, has been spoken in all languages and has been insinuated with various nuances among intellectuals and politicians. Holocaust denial is one of its main weapons.

Everyone will remember the conference held by Ahmadinejad in Teheran in December of 2006. Condemnation was widespread, but participation was also such that in order to combat its colors it would have been necessary to march with many divisions throughout the globe. Hence, it is either a battle of ideas or armed conflict; the court doesn’t come into it. It appears to be fundamental to the Ayatollahs’ regime, which preaches the destruction of the State of Israel, to maintain before the entire world that the Holocaust is a lie.

Even Abu Mazen, the Palestinian leader, has denied the Holocaust in his time: it is a specific feature of the war on Judaism, whether or not it is fought in pictures or through terrorism. In this he was greatly aided by public figures from around the world, from David Duke to Ahmed Rami. Hassan Nasrallah, like so many other Arab leaders, has praised Garaudy, and I can’t stop thinking about an essay by Alain Finkielraut, “In the Name of the Other.

Reflections on the Coming Antisemitism,” that linked extreme pacifism and the denial of the possibility of a just war (such as that of the Americans against Nazism, for example) with the resurgence of Holocaust denial. Even the worst ideas are combated with ideas, like anti-Semitism, which includes various perverse inventions, not just the Holocaust denial, but a taste for the despicable.


This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale; English copyright (October 17, 2013), The Gatestone Institute.



About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.
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