Thursday, July 3, 2003
Jews want holocaust film banned from festival
THE Jewish Community Council of Victoria is trying to stop a film by a controversial British historian who questions the scale
of the Holocaust from being shown in Melbourne.
The council is objecting to David Irving's film The Search for the
Truth in History from being screened at the Melbourne underground film festival next week.
It is also trying to stop an unrelated film about the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict from being shown.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has been told Mr Irving's
film includes a speech in which he questions the scale of the Jewish Holocaust.
Lawyers for the council have asked the tribunal for an interim order to stop
the film being shown pending the outcome of an equal opportunity investigation into whether the film breaches the Racial Intolerance
Push to ban Irving film
Melbourne, Australia, July 4 2003
A JUDGE has been asked to ban a film and a live "appearance" by historian
and Holocaust revisionist David Irving in Melbourne.
A Queen's counsel appeared yesterday for Victoria's Jewish community to try
to stop the screening of two films next week at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival.
Mark Dreyfus, QC, urged judge Michael Higgins to grant an interim injunction
to prevent Mr Irving disseminating views that vilified Jews.
Mr Dreyfus told the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal that Mr Irving
was a discredited historian found to have falsified evidence.
Mr Dreyfus appeared for the president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria,
Michael Lipshutz, who sought injunctions against the films, one of which involved Mr Irving doing a live telephone link from
The films are The Search for Truth in History, an address by
Mr Irving in response to being refused entry to Australia in 1993, and The Israel-Palestine Conflict: A Palestine Perspective.
Mr Irving has been refused entry to Australia numerous times, mostly
on the grounds that his speeches would cause public discord.
The festival's program said Mr Irving had a knack of presenting a "sympathetic
insider's history of Nazi Germany" that portrayed Hitler as a moderate, let down by the excesses of those under him.
The program also says Mr Irving claimed that the gas chambers at Auschwitz
"were a fiction and merely allied propaganda", but that his opinions should not be censored.
In an affidavit, Mr Lipshutz claimed the first film was consistent with Mr
Irving's denial of the existence of the Holocaust and belief that the Nazi genocide was a 50-year myth perpetrated by Jews.
The injunction was sought pending the outcome of a complaint made last week
by the council to the Equal Opportunity Commission alleging Mr Irving's film breached the Racial and Religious and Tolerance
Mr Dreyfus said that an English judgment in May 2000, in which Mr Irving lost a libel action, confirmed that he was a
discredited historian and that his film was "an assault on the truth of history".
Speaking later, Mr Lipshutz argued his council was seeking only to "defend
our rights" under Victorian law and not trying to suppress legitimate political debate.
He denied the issue was about freedom of speech. "We don't have unlimited
and unfettered freedom of speech in any country," Mr Lipshutz said.
Festival director Richard Wolstencroft, who did not attend and was not represented
at the hearing, told The Age he did not agree with Mr Irving's opinions but he had the right to hold and express them.
"I'm interested in the issue of freedom of speech," he said.
Expatica: Demand for Holocaust
3 July 2003
SYDNEY - Jewish lobby groups in Australia on Thursday took legal action to
stop the screening of a film by English historian David Irving that questions the level of persecution in Nazi Germany.
Irving, who denies the Holocaust happened, is prevented from visiting Australia
because the government has declared him persona non grata.
He also has a 1992 conviction in Germany for defaming the memory of the dead.
Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Michael Lipshutz said
Irving's "The Search for the Truth in History" vilified Jews and incited people to hate them.
Lipshutz said banning the films from the festival would not be a restriction
of freedom of speech.
"We don't have unlimited and unfettered freedom of speech in any country,"
Lipshutz told Australia's AAP news agency. "I can no more go around saying 'Death to the Aborigines' or 'Death to Catholics'
or 'Death to anybody else'."
He said Australian legislation recognised freedom of speech as well as the
need to preserve social harmony.
The council has lodged a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission
claiming the film breached the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act and should not be shown.
The film is scheduled to be shown July 10 at the Melbourne Underground Film
774 ABC Melbourne
Director defends Irving's freedom of speech
Thursday, 3 July 2003
THE director of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival hopes a documentary
on controversial British historian David Irving will be cleared for release.
The matter is currently before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Festival director Richard Wolstencroft says he understands the hurt David
Irving has caused the Jewish community but says it is important to uphold someone's right to be heard.
He says the Underground Film Festival is by its nature controversial.
"This year we wanted to look at the issue of freedom of speech, particularly
unpopular speech," he said.
The documentary The Search for Truth in History shows Mr Irving denying the
Jewish holocaust occurred.
The Jewish Community Council wants to stop the festival from screening the
documentary, saying it vilifies Jewish people.