Should Anti-Semitism Be Considered 'Free Speech'?

To alter a Wilde witticism, a true lady is never unintentionally rude.  A number of women – perhaps not ladies, though experienced public entertainers – in both the U.S. and Britain may be considered examples of Oscar's mot.  In one week in the U.S. in May, two female comedians, Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee, have admitted and apologized for explicit rudeness and – a comedian's nightmare – a bad joke.

Another recent previous case in the U.K. involving the issue of speech concerned a 29-year-Scottish man named Mark Meechan (aka Count Dankula).  He had in April 2016 posted a video on YouTube of his girlfriend's dog, which he had trained to give the Nazi salute.  The dog reacted to certain phrases, among them "Gas the Jews" and "Sieg Heil."  Meechan was tried and in April 2018 was fined for his video, which the court found offensive, anti-Semitic, and racist.  The court did not believe Meechan's excuse that the video was made only to annoy his girlfriend.

Alison Chabloz was indicted and found guilty of posting on YouTube "grossly offensive" songs, intended to insult those, including Elie Wiesel, Otto Frank, and Irene Zisblatt, a  Holocaust-survivor from Auschwitz,  to whom her lyrics related.  She mocked, to the tune of "Hava Nagila," some of them for having fabricated their narratives.  Her performance  was not an academic critique of the Holocaust, but an attack on Jews.

A London District Judge, John Zani, on June 1, 2018, held that Chabloz's apology for  her anti-Semitic lyrics were neither convincing nor genuine, and she showed no remorse or appreciation of her offense.  The judge did not accept as a full explanation that she had acted out of revenge because she had lost a job on a cruise ship, one of the Aida Cruise line that has Jewish owners, after she posted an anti-Israeli tweet. 

There is no specific law in Britain regarding Holocaust denial, as there is in some countries.  The prosecution against Chabloz was first brought by a private organization, the Campaign against Anti-Semitism, before the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)  took it on.  The court decided on the basis of the U.K. Communications Act of 2003, in which article 127 mentions an offense is committed by sending "by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other material that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, or menacing character," and whose purpose is to cause annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety for another.

Chabloz for a number of years has been provocative, claiming that the Holocaust is a "hoax" by Jews.  She said there is no proof that allegedly homicidal gas chambers were used to kill Jewish people during World War II.  Auschwitz was a "theme park," and the number of six million killed is exaggerated.

In this she shares the views of Catholic bishop Richard Williamson, who was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1988 for being ordained against papal orders.  (The excommunication was lifted in 2009.)  Williamson is, by decision of a German court, a Holocaust-denier.  He has denied , as has Chabloz, the gassing of Jews in Nazi camps, following the opinion of Ernst Zundel, German promoter of Holocaust denial, and insisted that "only" 200 to 300,000 Jews were killed.  He also has suggested that Jews aim at "world domination" and has endorsed the tsarist forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the alleged Jewish plot for world domination.

In her fantasy world, Chabloz is not alone.  She is associated with dubious company , among them Jeremy Bedford-Turner, leader of the right-wing neo-Nazi London Forum, and David Shayler, former member of MI5.  Turner has informed us that London, "once described as the cradle of freedom and democracy," is now the heart of a liberal tyranny.  He was sentenced in 2017 to a year in prison  for anti-Semitism.  His main objective is to free England from Jewish control.

David Shayler, a transvestite (aka Delores Kane), portrays himself as the Messiah, on a divine mission from God, successor to previous incumbents King Arthur, Macbeth, Lawrence of Arabia, and Che Guevara.  His mission is the dismantling of the "Zionist Empire."  Not surprisingly, he holds that 9-11 was orchestrated by Zionist agents and that Hitler was good for the Jews so they could claim compensation.  Shayler is a hemp cultivator, and that helps explain all his bizarre statements, including the charge that British MI6 funded Islamist fighters to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi in Libya.

The fanatical zealots are a cozy group.  In an article in the British newspaper the Independent on May 7, 2017, the reporter claims he had infiltrated in February 2017 a secret meeting of the white supremacist, neo-Nazi London Forum, held in East London.  Among the assorted wisdom he heard was that Auschwitz was like Disneyland and that allegations about Hitler were gossip, numerous Jewish conspiracies, defenses of slavery and segregation, and the degeneration of the West.

Chabloz was present at the meeting and said she had performed at the 88th birthday party of Robert Faurisson, French major Holocaust-denier; had sung a parody of Edith Piaf's song, "I regret nothing"; and gave the infamous quenelle salute.

This Chabloz case once again raised the question of limits on free speech.  Does the honored principle allow the right to offend and insult people?  Everyone will agree that freedom of expression, especially artistic freedom, should be upheld.  However, Judge Zini in the Westminster Magistrates Court held that portrayal of certain historical events – namely, the Holocaust – affecting the Jewish community, and deceptive and dishonest attacks on well known Jews in an insulting, upsetting, and disrespectful manner, are unacceptable in an open and multicultural society.  The principle of freedom of speech did not provide Chabloz with immunity from prosecution.  Nor should it be available for any bigoted anti-Semite.

You can argue that the Sun rises in the west, but you cannot deny that the Holocaust happened.

To alter a Wilde witticism, a true lady is never unintentionally rude.  A number of women – perhaps not ladies, though experienced public entertainers – in both the U.S. and Britain may be considered examples of Oscar's mot.  In one week in the U.S. in May, two female comedians, Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee, have admitted and apologized for explicit rudeness and – a comedian's nightmare – a bad joke.

Another recent previous case in the U.K. involving the issue of speech concerned a 29-year-Scottish man named Mark Meechan (aka Count Dankula).  He had in April 2016 posted a video on YouTube of his girlfriend's dog, which he had trained to give the Nazi salute.  The dog reacted to certain phrases, among them "Gas the Jews" and "Sieg Heil."  Meechan was tried and in April 2018 was fined for his video, which the court found offensive, anti-Semitic, and racist.  The court did not believe Meechan's excuse that the video was made only to annoy his girlfriend.

Alison Chabloz was indicted and found guilty of posting on YouTube "grossly offensive" songs, intended to insult those, including Elie Wiesel, Otto Frank, and Irene Zisblatt, a  Holocaust-survivor from Auschwitz,  to whom her lyrics related.  She mocked, to the tune of "Hava Nagila," some of them for having fabricated their narratives.  Her performance  was not an academic critique of the Holocaust, but an attack on Jews.

A London District Judge, John Zani, on June 1, 2018, held that Chabloz's apology for  her anti-Semitic lyrics were neither convincing nor genuine, and she showed no remorse or appreciation of her offense.  The judge did not accept as a full explanation that she had acted out of revenge because she had lost a job on a cruise ship, one of the Aida Cruise line that has Jewish owners, after she posted an anti-Israeli tweet. 

There is no specific law in Britain regarding Holocaust denial, as there is in some countries.  The prosecution against Chabloz was first brought by a private organization, the Campaign against Anti-Semitism, before the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)  took it on.  The court decided on the basis of the U.K. Communications Act of 2003, in which article 127 mentions an offense is committed by sending "by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other material that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, or menacing character," and whose purpose is to cause annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety for another.

Chabloz for a number of years has been provocative, claiming that the Holocaust is a "hoax" by Jews.  She said there is no proof that allegedly homicidal gas chambers were used to kill Jewish people during World War II.  Auschwitz was a "theme park," and the number of six million killed is exaggerated.

In this she shares the views of Catholic bishop Richard Williamson, who was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1988 for being ordained against papal orders.  (The excommunication was lifted in 2009.)  Williamson is, by decision of a German court, a Holocaust-denier.  He has denied , as has Chabloz, the gassing of Jews in Nazi camps, following the opinion of Ernst Zundel, German promoter of Holocaust denial, and insisted that "only" 200 to 300,000 Jews were killed.  He also has suggested that Jews aim at "world domination" and has endorsed the tsarist forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the alleged Jewish plot for world domination.

In her fantasy world, Chabloz is not alone.  She is associated with dubious company , among them Jeremy Bedford-Turner, leader of the right-wing neo-Nazi London Forum, and David Shayler, former member of MI5.  Turner has informed us that London, "once described as the cradle of freedom and democracy," is now the heart of a liberal tyranny.  He was sentenced in 2017 to a year in prison  for anti-Semitism.  His main objective is to free England from Jewish control.

David Shayler, a transvestite (aka Delores Kane), portrays himself as the Messiah, on a divine mission from God, successor to previous incumbents King Arthur, Macbeth, Lawrence of Arabia, and Che Guevara.  His mission is the dismantling of the "Zionist Empire."  Not surprisingly, he holds that 9-11 was orchestrated by Zionist agents and that Hitler was good for the Jews so they could claim compensation.  Shayler is a hemp cultivator, and that helps explain all his bizarre statements, including the charge that British MI6 funded Islamist fighters to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi in Libya.

The fanatical zealots are a cozy group.  In an article in the British newspaper the Independent on May 7, 2017, the reporter claims he had infiltrated in February 2017 a secret meeting of the white supremacist, neo-Nazi London Forum, held in East London.  Among the assorted wisdom he heard was that Auschwitz was like Disneyland and that allegations about Hitler were gossip, numerous Jewish conspiracies, defenses of slavery and segregation, and the degeneration of the West.

Chabloz was present at the meeting and said she had performed at the 88th birthday party of Robert Faurisson, French major Holocaust-denier; had sung a parody of Edith Piaf's song, "I regret nothing"; and gave the infamous quenelle salute.

This Chabloz case once again raised the question of limits on free speech.  Does the honored principle allow the right to offend and insult people?  Everyone will agree that freedom of expression, especially artistic freedom, should be upheld.  However, Judge Zini in the Westminster Magistrates Court held that portrayal of certain historical events – namely, the Holocaust – affecting the Jewish community, and deceptive and dishonest attacks on well known Jews in an insulting, upsetting, and disrespectful manner, are unacceptable in an open and multicultural society.  The principle of freedom of speech did not provide Chabloz with immunity from prosecution.  Nor should it be available for any bigoted anti-Semite.

You can argue that the Sun rises in the west, but you cannot deny that the Holocaust happened.