Before the 'Human Rights Tribunal'
The Importance of the Zündel Hearing in Toronto
By Mark Weber
Now into its fifth year, a little-known legal dispute in Canada with important international implications for Internet freedom of speech, is quietly being fought out before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in downtown Toronto.
Responding to Jewish complaints, the Canadian Human Rights Commission charges that Ernst Zündel, the controversial German-born Holocaust revisionist publisher and civil rights activist, has been promoting "hatred or contempt" against Jews through the American-based and -operated "Zündelsite" Internet web site. Lined up against him before the Tribunal are lawyers representing Canada's major Jewish organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association, and the League for Human Rights of B'nai B'rith (counterpart of the Anti-Defamation League in the US), along with Sabrina Citron (a Jewish community figure who has pursued Zündel in courts for some 20 years), the Toronto Mayor's Committee on Community and Race Relations, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Zündel is charged with violating Section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which reads:
"It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically 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 [Canada's] 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 for discrimination [that is, by race, ethnicity, religion, and so forth]."
This code section, drafted before the Internet was in wide use, was originally meant to prohibit telephone answering machine "hate messages" that callers might access. Given that all of the allegedly offensive Zündelsite Internet postings are written communications, it is a stretch to call them "telephonic." In spite of its name, the web site is run by Ingrid Rimland, not Ernst Zündel. Moreover, it has always been based in the United States, and therefore only very dubiously comes "within the legislative authority of [Canada's] Parliament."
Probably the slipperiest term in this "Hate Messages" code section is "likely," because determining what is "likely" to expose someone to "hatred or contempt" is unavoidably subjective.
Zündel is probably best known as the defiantly outspoken defendant in two high-profile "Holocaust trials." For having published an edition of an early revisionist booklet, Did Six Million Really Die?, he was charged and brought to trial, defending himself tenaciously in two costly and drawn-out Toronto courtroom battles, 1985 and 1988. In August 1992 Canada's Supreme Court overturned his conviction, declaring the archaic "false news" law under which he had been prosecuted to be unconstitutional. This was therefore not only a vindication for Zündel, but a victory for the rights of all Canadians.
Zündel's main attorney in the current "human rights" case has been Doug Christie, who also ably represented him in the 1985 and 1988 trials. Working closely with Zündel and Christie has been Barbara Kulaszka, an attorney who was part of the defense team in the 1988 trial, and is the editor/compiler of a valuable 562-page documentary work on that case.
Also on the Zündel side in this case is Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE), which has been involved as an "intervenor" throughout the Tribunal proceedings. He regards this case an important battle for free speech.
Despite its name, the Human Rights Tribunal is not a court. The two persons who preside over the proceedings of this quasi-judicial body, Claude Pensa and Reva Devins, are "Commissioners," not judges, who are appointed by the same federal Human Rights Commission that brought the charge against Zündel. (One of the original Commissioners resigned months ago, reportedly because the proceedings had dragged on so long.) If they find Zündel guilty, they have authority to issue a "cease and desist" order, which would then be registered and enforceable through a Canadian federal court.
This case has been expensive. In addition to the fees for the attorneys of the various Jewish "intervenor" groups in the case, as of late May 1999 the Canadian Human Rights Commission had spent $420,561 of Canadian taxpayers money going after Ernst Zündel. For their role services as Commissioners, Pensa and Devins receive more than $500 per day, plus travel and expenses.
Truth is No Defense
Amazingly, "truth is no defense" in this bizarre proceeding. Neither the truthfulness (factuality) of a "complained of" writing, nor the motive of the writer, may be considered in determining if it is "likely" to expose persons to "hatred or contempt." As Chairman Pensa bluntly put it:
"It is the finding of this Tribunal that truth is not an issue before us. Parliament has spoken. The use of telephone messages for purposes prohibited by section 13 of the Act cannot be justified by asserting that such messages are truthful. The sole issue is whether such communications are likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt."
Observes CAFE director Fromm: "This mad hatter's tea party has decided that 'truth is no defense,' that truth doesn't matter. It's only the feelings of the aggrieved minority that determines whether a statement is 'likely' to expose them to hatred or contempt'."
Many of the three dozen "complained of" Zündelsite documents specifically cited by Canadian authorities were not written by Zündel. Several are from the Institute for Historical Review, including Fred Leuchter's essay, "Inside the Auschwitz Gas Chambers," based on his address at the 1989 IHR Conference, Theodore O'Keefe's essay on "The Liberation of the Camps," and two essays by me, "Jewish Soap," from the Summer 1991 IHR Journal, and one that has been published for years by the IHR as a leaflet entitled "The Holocaust: Let's Hear Both Sides."
What Jewish groups were unable to achieve through the regular courts in the 1980s, they are now trying to achieve through this quasi-judicial body. They seek to ban writings posted on the Internet that, when published in Canada in printed form, are perfectly legal. Probably the most striking example of this is the booklet Did Six Million Really Die?, which Jewish groups and Canadian authorities were unable to criminalize in their costly and drawn-out 1980s legal battle against Zündel. Now this same booklet is the first of the "complained of" documents in this Human Rights Commission action.
With the passage of time, it is ever more difficult, even absurd, to argue that the "complained of" paragraphs from the vast Zündelsite are somehow socially dangerous. During the past two years, Zündel's "case" has become stronger, given that several books and numerous articles and reviews have appeared during this period, both in Canada and in periodicals and web sites around the world, that parallel the supposedly hate-promoting Zündelsite documents cited by the Human Rights Commission. In that sense, Ernst Zündel's "sin" is that he is a man ahead of his time.
Probably the most important of these recent writings is The Holocaust Industry, a fervent and much-discussed new book by Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein, a professor at Hunter College in New York City and the son of parents who survived wartime internment in the Warsaw ghetto and German concentration camps. The Holocaust Industry (available from the IHR for $23, plus shipping) was accepted as an defense exhibit in the proceedings, and discussed in detail as part of my testimony.
Restrictions on Testimony
As an witness on Zündel's behalf, I experienced first-hand some of the absurdity and hypocrisy of Canada-style "human rights."
I first came before the Tribunal in December 1998, when I was closely questioned to determine if I would be accepted as a witness. After several days of interrogation and argument by the attorneys, Commissioners Pensa and Devins accepted me as an expert witness "in Holocaust revisionism as he [Weber] and others have defined that field," but permitting me to testify "only for the very limited purpose of establishing the context in which the Holocaust revisionist community operates."
I returned to Toronto in early October , nearly two years later, to testify. At the outset of my three days on the stand -- October 4-6, 2000 -- the two Tribunal Commissioners and the anti-Zündel attorneys made clear that I would be severely, even absurdly, restricted in the scope of my testimony. In his interrogation of me, Doug Christie was obliged to phrase his questions in terms of how a given writing or event was regarded by, or "resonated" within, "the revisionist community." By carefully phrasing his questions to conform to the Tribunal's cumbersome restrictions, he was able to put "on the record" much of what he had intended.
On the first day of my testimony, Christie asked me about Zündel's place in Holocaust revisionism: "What part, to your knowledge of the revisionist field, has Zündel played in revisionism, specifically Holocaust revisionism?"
"Ernst Zündel," I responded, "is not a Holocaust scholar; he is not a historian. He doesn't claim to be a historian. He calls himself an impresario. He is a facilitator..." Before I could finish my answer, John Rosen, attorney for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, excitedly jumped to his feet to loudly protest that my answer was "beyond the bounds" of my expertise, and that I am "not entitled to give this evidence. This is an apology for Ernst Zündel."
Commissioner Pensa, apparently accepting Rosen's absurd objection, said to me: "You are not entitled to go into an apologia of Mr. Zündel." I replied by telling Pensa that what I had said is "not an apologia," and went on to explain:
"We [revisionists] regard him [Zündel] as a facilitator, a publicist if you will or, to use his word, an impresario. That is not an apology for Ernst Zündel. It is simply a statement of fact of the role that he plays in the [revisionist] community, about which I am quite familiar ... He is not a scholar. He doesn't play the same role in the revisionist community or movement, or whatever you care to call it, that a Robert Faurisson does, or that I do, or that many others do. His motives are different. His goals are different ..."
A good part of my testimony was devoted to trying to show that numerous statements in Finkelstein's book, as well as in other widely available periodicals and Internet postings, closely parallel -- often in even more strident language -- the supposedly "hateful" remarks in the "complained of" Zündelsite documents.
Mark Freiman, attorney for the Human Rights Commission, objected to our efforts to establish this parallel, repeatedly pointing out that the Tribunal had not qualified me as a historian or expert in text and document analysis. (This in spite of the fact that in March 1988 I had testified for five days in Toronto District Court as an expert witness on the "Final Solution" and the Holocaust issue in the second Zündel "Holocaust Trial." [See "My Role in the Zündel Trial," Winter 1989-90 Journal.])
For example, when Christie asked me to compare a passage in The Holocaust Industry, with a passage in the revisionist booklet Did Six Million Really Die? (one of the "complained of" documents), Freiman objected: "This witness cannot opine as to the similarity between one text and another text ... This witness is not qualified to perform a comparative analysis of texts."
On another occasion Christie asked me "Is Finkelstein the only contemporary source which has repeated the Holocaust revisionist themes?," a question that should have been permissible even within the constraints imposed by the Tribunal, Freiman protested: "I object for the same reason as yesterday, that it calls on the expertise of a historian." On other occasions Freiman similarly objected that I am "not an expert in comparative text or historical analysis," and that I am "not competent to analyze texts, to compare them with other texts, or to comment on history."
Finkelstein's 'Holocaust Industry'
In going through The Holocaust Industry, Christie and I highlighted Finkelstein's indictment of the way that organized Jewry has fostered a deceitful and self-serving perception of history. As I repeatedly pointed out, Finkelstein's views echo points that revisionist writers and scholars have made many times over the years. He writes, for example, that given the "nonsense churned out daily by the Holocaust industry, the wonder is that there are so few skeptics..." He also writes:
- "The challenge today is to restore the Nazi holocaust as a rational subject of inquiry."
- "Articulating the key Holocaust dogmas, much of the literature on Hitler's Final Solution is worthless as scholarship. Indeed, the field of Holocaust studies is replete with nonsense, if not sheer fraud."
- "Because ["Holocaust"] survivors are now revered as secular saints, one doesn't dare question them. Preposterous statements pass without comment."
- Israel "invents stories about the Holocaust" in order to "receive more money from Germany and other Western establishments."
- "In recent years, the Holocaust industry has become an outright extortion racket." Finkelstein also refers to "this double shakedown of European countries as well as legitimate Jewish claimants," and to "the Holocaust restitution racket ..."
"The Holocaust," he concludes, "may yet turn out to be the 'greatest robbery in the history of mankind'."
Commenting on one of these passages, I stated:
"It is a startling thing for revisionists that Finkelstein explicitly says what revisionists have emphasized over the years: that Israel and, by extension, others in the organized Jewish community, invent stories about the Holocaust in order to receive more money from Germany and other western establishments. This is a point that has been made repeatedly by revisionists over the years. It is startling for revisionists to see a Norman Finkelstein, a professor at Hunter College, affirming that same view as, in fact, he does in this passage."
Another passage from Finkelstein's book that Christie cited was this: "... The Holocaust industry orchestrated a shameless campaign of vilification. With an infinitely compliant and credulous press ready to give banner headlines to any Holocaust-related story, however preposterous, the smear campaign [against Switzerland] proved unstoppable."
Commenting on this, I told the Tribunal:
"The revisionist community has emphasized the incredibly shameless nature of this campaign, and how compliant and credulous the media is in giving banner headlines and credence to claims that later turn out to be completely wrong, completely untrue, not only with regard to the Holocaust campaign but, of course, with regard to all sorts of specific stories about the Second World War and Jewish suffering which also turn out to be untrue, however preposterous, as Finkelstein says. There are numerous examples of that, that I and other revisionists have made over the years, some of which I think appear in the complained of documents [cited by the Commission]. This smear campaign, as Finkelstein says and the revisionist community would agree, has proved unstoppable. The revisionist community has made the point over the years that the willingness of the United States of America and other countries to put up with one amazing humiliation after another carried out by the World Jewish Congress and other Jewish organizations seems boundless."
What Causes Anti-Semitism?
Getting into the emotion-laden question of what causes anti-Jewish sentiment, Christie quoted a passage from Finkelstein's book:
"The shakedown of Switzerland and Germany has been only a prelude to the grand finale: the shakedown of Eastern Europe. With the collapse of the Soviet bloc, alluring prospects opened up in the former heartland of European Jewry. Cloaking itself in the sanctimonious mantle of 'needy Holocaust victims,' the Holocaust industry has sought to extort billions of dollars from these already impoverished countries. Pursuing this end with reckless and ruthless abandon, it has become the main fomenter of anti-Semitism in Europe."
Christie then asked: "Is that in any way related to or echoed in the field of Holocaust revisionist opinion?" Mindful of the constraints imposed by the Tribunal, I replied:
"Holocaust revisionists have very often stressed a similar sentiment, and that is that this extortion, this campaign against Switzerland and Germany, is but one chapter in a campaign that targets many other countries, and there seems to be no end to it. In fact, I think [that] since this book was published, revisionists have been struck that now the first faint signs of a campaign directed against United States institutions also now seems to be in the works.
"One of the most striking passages here for revisionists is the final one that you quoted: 'Pursuing this end with reckless and ruthless abandon, it has become the main fomenter of anti-Semitism in Europe.' This is particularly striking because revisionists have over and over made a statement[s] consistent with this, which is completely at variance with what the Holocaust industry or what Holocaust organizations insist, and that is that anti-Semitism has no relationship whatsoever to what Jews do.
"We are told over and over -- in our universities, and [in] magazines and newspapers, and by organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center -- that anti-Jewish sentiment is a pathological, inexplicable manifestation of tortured, diseased personalities, and has no relationship to what Jews do. Finkelstein says here that hostility or sentiment against Jews is fomented by actions that Jewish organizations carry out. This gets, I think, really at the core of a lot of what this whole Hearing is about, from the point of view of the revisionist community, and that is: What is the origin of anti-Jewish sentiment in not only this society in North America, but also in any society throughout history?
"Revisionists have, over a long period of time and in numerous articles, that have been published in The Journal of Historical Review and elsewhere, stressed that there is a relationship between anti-Jewish sentiment and what Jews, particularly organized Jewry, do. Revisionists have also strongly stressed that any number of Jewish leaders have on occasion made this same point ..."
A short time later I added:
"Revisionists have also stressed on a number of occasions that these campaigns by the World Jewish Congress, by Israel, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and so forth have had the impact, the effect, of increasing anti-Jewish sentiment in Austria, in Switzerland and in other countries. For example, The Journal of Historical Review has talked about the increase in anti-Jewish sentiment in Austria after the World Jewish Congress, in a very public way, went after Austria's President, and insisted or demanded that Austrians not elect Kurt Waldheim, so much so that the World Jewish Congress President, Edgar Bronfman, in a  speech in [Montreal] Canada referred to Austrians as 'dirty, anti-Semitic dogs.' Statements like that, revisionists have pointed out, have the effect of increasing hostility toward Jews in Austria and other countries."
Revisionism and Anti-Semitism
On the relevance of Holocaust revisionism for relations between Jews and non-Jews, I testified that revisionists have repeatedly emphasized
"that historical truth and historical understanding are essential for any kind of tolerant relationship between Jews and every other nationality in our world and that, far from promoting anti-Semitism, Holocaust revisionism should ultimately have the effect of diminishing it; that the alternative is to permit a one-sided, exploitive version of history to take hold in society, and [that] ultimately will have the effect, as Finkelstein suggests in this passage, of increasing hostility toward Jews ...
"This is a point that revisionists have also made many times, that this entire Holocaust campaign has the danger certainly, if not the actual import, of harming the interests of "little Jews," or most Jews, or the majority of Jews, and that it benefits only those [Jews] in power and position."
Crossing Swords with Rosen
A high point of my testimony was the cross-examination on Friday, the 6th, by Wiesenthal Center attorney John Rosen, who was every bit at belligerent and arrogant toward me as he had been in December 1998 when I was being qualified as a witness. He repeatedly interrupted my answers to his own questions, rudely demanding that I respond with a one-word "Yes" or "No" answer. At one point he even interrupted me as I was speaking to Tribunal Chairman Pensa. (On at least one occasion Rosen put a question to me in a form that, in keeping with the Tribunal's restrictions, was not permitted to Doug Christie.)
Rosen sought to keep me from testifying as the Tribunal had directed, and as I had sworn to do, giving "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." His outrageous behavior was not merely an insult to me, but to the Tribunal Commissioners who had qualified me as an expert witness to assist them in their deliberations. Nevertheless, Pensa and Devins repeatedly indulged Rosen's rude and insulting behavior, thereby manifesting what seems to be an underlying bias in favor of the anti-Zündel side.
One exchange in particular pointed up Rosen's arrogance, and the Commissioners' indulgence of his bigotry.
Rosen: "You say, as a revisionist, that there was no Final Solution?"
Weber: "No, I don't say that ..."
Rosen: "Was there a Final Solution?"
Weber: "Excuse me, Mr. Rosen. If I could not be interrupted again ..."
Rosen: "The answer just called for a 'yes' or a 'no,' sir, not a speech, but go ahead."
Weber: "Mr. Pensa...?"
Rosen: "Mr. Pensa, I asked a question that called for a 'yes' or 'no' answer."
Weber: "I would just like it if he would not interrupt me."
Chairperson Pensa: "Do you understand the question?"
Weber: "Yes, and I would like to give my answer, and I don't like to be interrupted."
Pensa: "You should answer the question as responsively and as succinctly as possible."
Weber: "Yes, and I would like it if he would not interrupt me.
In fact, Mr. Rosen [I went on], to the contrary, there was a German policy called 'the Final Solution.' I have written extensively about it, [including] in the very document [No. 31] that is in the 'complained of' documents. There is an essay by me which tries to explain the Final Solution policy. It refers to an official German document from the Second World War, a memorandum of the Foreign Office which goes into detail about what the Final Solution policy was. I don't dispute that there was a Final Solution policy. I don't know any revisionist who does ...
The essay I referred to has been published by the IHR for years as a leaflet, "The Holocaust: Let's Hear Both Sides." It was downloaded by Canadian Human Rights Commission officials from the Zündelsite, who cited as document ("Tab") No. 31 in the official compilation. If Rosen had carefully read through the documents that are at the heart of this dispute, he would have known that I not only describe Germany's wartime "final solution" policy, but to explain it I quote a confidential German Foreign Office memorandum of August 21, 1942 (Nuremberg document NG-2586-J). Rosen's arrogant display of ignorance about the documents at issue in this case suggests that the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which presumably pays him well to represent its interests in these proceedings, is not getting its money's worth from him.
In another question put to me, Rosen said that "the Nazis -- that is, the Germans -- during the Second World War executed a plan that was designed to exterminate Jews who fell under their control..." With some emotion, I responded by saying that the form of this question is itself outrageous, implying as it does that "the Germans" are collectively guilty of mass extermination:
"First of all, the way you put the question in its original form is outrageous. You referred to a plan carried out by 'the Germans.' This is typical language used by people who are defaming or castigating others, to talk about 'the Germans.' 'The Germans' didn't carry out any execution plan of any kind, Mr. Rosen, and it is wrong to refer to a nationality or a group of people in that way, just as it is wrong to refer to 'the Jews' killing people in Palestine, or 'the Jews' doing this or that. To put a question in that way is already outrageous."
Seemingly taken aback, Rosen responded by claiming that I had "misquoted" him. "I did not say 'the Germans'; I said 'Germans'," he protested. This was simply not true, as the official transcript proves. Indeed, I had been so struck by Rosen's slanderous reference to "the Germans" that I jotted down his precise words immediately after he uttered them.
The Tribunal, typically, was unperturbed by Rosen's hateful characterization of Germans. (Such anti-German bigotry is so widespread in our society that it routinely passes without objection, or even comment.) Especially given that, as the Tribunal has held, truth and motive may not be considered in determining if a statement is "likely" to promote "hatred or contempt," these words by the Wiesenthal Center attorney violate the spirit of very the law under which the Human Rights Commission was prosecuting Zündel. Rosen's statement, made in this public and official forum, is at least as "likely" to promote "hatred or contempt" for Germans as any Zündelsite statement is to promote "hatred or contempt" for Jews.
'Big Tent' Revisionism
After Rosen's bout, it was Freiman's turn to question me. His main point was to get me to say that Norman Finkelstein is not a Holocaust revisionist. However valid Finkelstein's points may be, he suggested, they should not be compared with the parallel remarks cited in the supposedly hateful Zündelsite documents. I readily acknowledged that Finkelstein apparently accepts the standard Holocaust extermination story, and holds views about specifics of World War II history that differ from those expressed by such revisionists as Robert Faurisson, Arthur Butz and myself.
All the same, I defined Holocaust revisionism rather broadly, saying that it includes not only a skeptical or critical look at the role and treatment of Europe's Jews during the Second World War, but also the social, political and cultural impact of those events in society today. On this basis, I said, Finkelstein may "arguably" be regarded as a Holocaust revisionist. Not surprisingly, I pointed, some Jewish critics of his work have denounced him as a Holocaust revisionist or denier. (For example, Rabbi Irving Greenberg, Chairman of the US Holocaust Memorial Council, a US federal government agency, calls Finkelstein's book "a form of Holocaust denial" [New York Jewish Week, Sept. 8, 2000].)
Holocaust revisionism, I repeatedly pointed out, is a "big tent" that includes writers, scholars and activists who sometimes disagree among themselves about specific historical issues. In this regard, I mentioned disagreements (aired in this Journal) between, for example, Jürgen Graf and Arthur Butz, and between Robert Faurisson and David Irving. I also pointed out that prominent revisionists have, over the years, modified their views about specific issues, in somewhat the way that Raul Hilberg, perhaps the most prominent "establishment" Holocaust historian, has strikingly modified his views over time.
An important early witness against Zündel in this case was Gary D. Prideaux, a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Edmonton. In his testimony about the "complained of" documents downloaded from the Zündelsite, he said that "the epithet 'Holocaust lobby'" is used "to refer to Jews," and that "the term Holocaust lobbyists is used as a negative epithet for Jews."
This is simply not true, as any open-minded person can readily grasp, especially taking into account the entirety of the site's postings. Contrary to the claims of the anti-Zündel side, the "complained of" Zündelsite documents do not attack "Jews, but instead take aim at "the worldwide Holocaust lobby," "Holocaust lobbyists," and "the Jewish lobby -- or the Israeli lobby, as some like to call it."
This important distinction is obvious, for example, in one of the allegedly "hateful" passages carefully culled by Canadian officials from the vast Zündelsite. In this "complained of" document ("tab" 22), taken from a March 1997 issue of Zündel's Power newsletter, he expresses concern, not "hatred or contempt," for the mass of Jews. Zündel writes: "I fear for the 'little Jew' who has no voice and no say in this matter, but ultimately will have to suffer the fallout!"
As was brought out during Christie's examination of me, a number of Jewish writers have made this same point in recent years. In The Holocaust Industry, Prof. Finkelstein stresses that major Jewish organizations carry out a "shakedown" that cheats authentic Jewish wartime victims of reparations payments that Jewish leaders have "extorted" in their names.
By the standard that Canadian authorities are applying to Zündel, Internet communications even by established news services should be subject to prosecution. For example, on February 1, 2000, the renowned British news service BBC distributed through the Internet, and without comment, an editorial published the day before in a major Syrian daily paper, Tishrin. The editorial, which Jewish groups vehemently denounced as anti-Semitic, told readers:
"... Zionist organizations are trying, as usual, to revive their own distorted view of history and exploit it in deceiving the world public, winning its sympathy and then blackmailing it ... Zionism has invented the Holocaust myth to blackmail the world and terrorize its intellectuals and statesmen. It is applying the Holocaust method in dealing with the Arabs."
An Orwellian Concept of Rights
Is Canadian society so fragile that an Ernst Zündel can seriously be regarded as a danger to its cohesion or stability? Apparently so. In spite of its Anglo-Saxon heritage of respect for civic rights, fearful Canadian leaders are quietly revoking traditional freedoms. For example, Canadian customs officials regularly (albeit haphazardly) seize "politically incorrect" books, magazines and compact disks at the border. They are confiscated under a code section that bans "hate propaganda," including items "alleging that an identifiable group is racially inferior and/or weaken other segments of society to the detriment of society as a whole," and items "alleging that an identifiable group is manipulating media, trade and finance, government or world politics to the detriment of society as a whole."
Among the items that have been seized by Canadian authorities over the years have been assorted issues of the IHR's Journal of Historical Review and various IHR leaflets, as well as such books as Shockley on Eugenics and Race, a scholarly anthology by the late Nobel prize laureate William Shockley, Race, Intelligence and Bias in Academe, by Roger Pearson, The Dispossessed Majority, by Wilmot Robertson, and The Immigration Invasion, by Wayne Lutton and John Tanton.
Less understandable have been the seizures of copies of Advance to Barbarism, a 50-year-old anti-war classic by British jurist F.J.P. Veale, and From Moscow to Berlin: Zhukov's Greatest Battles, the memoir of Soviet World War II General Georgi Zhukov (originally published in the US in 1969 by Harper & Row).
In the Zündel "Human Rights" case, the bias of at least one of the Commissioners is a matter of public record. In April 1999 a Canadian Federal Court found that there existed a reasonable apprehension of bias by Reva Devins because, in 1988, when she was with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, this provincial agency had issued a public statement applauding Zündel's criminal conviction for publishing an edition of the booklet Did Six Million Really Die?.
In this landmark case, a coalition of powerful and influential Jewish organizations is using a Canadian government agency, the Orwellian "Human Rights Commission," to censor writings they don't like -- writings that are otherwise entirely legal.
The same Jewish groups that demand, in the name of "human rights," that Zündel be silenced, have well-documented records as staunch defenders of, and apologists for, the Zionist regime in Israel that routinely, and as a matter of state policy, oppresses people on the basis of ancestry. Israel's immigration policy, for example, which is based on ancestry criteria that parallel the strictures of Third Reich Germany's infamous 1935 "Nuremberg Laws," even prohibits non-Jews who were born in what is now Israel (including the occupied territories) from returning to their native land.
By any objective standard, these Jewish groups deserve to be in the dock at least as much as does Ernst Zündel. The hypocrisy and gross double standard of this entire case is all the more shameful because it is enforced by a Canadian government agency. Given all this, it's no wonder that Zündel fully expects the Tribunal's Commissioners to issue a sweeping, harshly-worded "cease and desist" order against him.
Why are major Jewish organizations devoting so much money and effort to this case? There seem to be three goals:
First, they are forcing Ernst Zündel, whom they hate, to spend a lot of his time and money. Reportedly he has already devoted some $140,000 (Canadian) to defending himself in this case.
Second, Jewish organizations will quickly register a Tribunal "cease and desist" order with a federal court, and then cite any refusal by Zündel to obey it to demand that authorities expel him from the country. (Zündel, who holds German citizenship, lives in Canada as a "landed immigrant," a legal status comparable to that of "permanent resident" in the United States. In the 42 years he has lived in Canada, he has been a peaceful and productive member of society, maintaining an unblemished legal record.)
Third, and probably most important, if Jewish groups succeed in censoring the (USA-based) Zündelsite, they'll be set to have authorities censor every Internet site they don't like in Canada. Jewish groups in other countries could cite the Zündelsite precedent in Canada to demand that authorities ban or censor web sites elsewhere they don't like. If they succeed in banning or censoring an Internet site, Jewish groups would be emboldened to target books, newsletters, newspapers, magazines, videotapes, and even radio and television broadcasts.
Given that this case has far-reaching implications for the rights of all Canadians, it is a shame, as Paul Fromm has pointed out, that the Canadian media has all but ignored it.
My visit to Canada provided an opportunity to address appreciative audiences in two packed meetings. More than 100 persons heard me speak in Toronto, and about 40 were on hand in Kitchener, about 60 miles to the west, with Paul Fromm introducing me on each occasion. Putting the Holocaust "extortion" campaign in historical and social-political context, I spoke about the tremendous power of organized Jewry. (My talk in Canada can be heard on-line through "Radio Freedom" on the "Freedomsite" http://www.freedomsite.org/r-free. It is also available on audio cassette tape from CAFE, P.O. Box 332, Rexdale, Ont. M9W 5L3, Canada.)
Zündel Concludes His Case
In the weeks after I testified, the Zündel side offered as witnesses for the defense two university professors. Dr. Tony Martin, who teaches African history at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, was to testify on efforts by Jewish groups to silence him, and Dr. Heinz Joachim Klatt, who teaches psychology at Kings College, University of Western Ontario, was set to testify on "political correctness." Commissioners Pensa and Devins rejected both witnesses.
In late November, after a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that the statute under which it is being prosecuted is unconstitutional, Ernst Zündel abruptly concluded his defense. In his newsletter he cited the Tribunal's bias, the rejection by Canada's Supreme Court of his motions, and the prohibitively high cost off continuing the legal battle. Final arguments in the case are scheduled for February 28, 2001.
From The Journal of Historical Review, Sept.-Oct. 2000 (Vol.19, No. 5), pages 2-10.
About the Author
Mark Weber studied history at the University of Illinois (Chicago), the University of Munich, Portland State University and Indiana University (M.A., 1977).