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Jews Want Holocaust Film Banned From Festival
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Thursday, July 3, 2003

Jews want holocaust film banned from festival

videoTHE 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 Act.

 

The Age


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 America.

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 Act.

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 film ban

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 Festival..


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.