Jew Columnist David Cesarani
The limits of free speech
David Cesarani, guardian.co.uk
Friday October 03 2008
The recent electoral success of the far-right parties in Austria and the detention of the alleged Holocaust denier Gerald Töben in Britain together raise some awkward questions. How should liberal, democratic societies deal with those who espouse antisemitism and racism, who deny the systematic mass murder of the Jews by the Nazis, and who pour vitriol on Muslims and gay people?
Despite decades of "Holocaust education" and the building of Holocaust memorials, 29% of Austrian voters cast their ballot for the heirs and admirers of National Socialism. Although the Austrian government is a member of an intergovernmental taskforce dedicated to promoting memory of the Holocaust and its grim lessons worldwide, at home it cannot even convince its own population to stay away from the suit-wearing inheritors of Hitler's toxic ideology.
And notwithstanding the metastasisation of antisemitism on the web and state promotion of Holocaust denial, most openly and notoriously by Iran, there are many people in this country who denounce the process that will enable Germany to extradite and prosecute Töben. They argue that Britain has a reputation for freedom of speech and has long given asylum to those persecuted for their views. Britain, therefore, should be a haven for such as him even though his utterances are despicable.
With a global recession on the horizon, possibly bringing with it mass unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and cuts in government budgets for welfare, who would like to bank on democracy staying in robust good health? In a few years time, the extradition of Töben might look like a smart move if it sends a message to the far right in Austria, not to mention our own breed, that those who incite hatred and seek to undermine liberty will not be given sanctuary.
Talk about hypocrisy. This hideous cockroach Cesarani falsely denounces Töben for "undermin[ing] liberty", when HE is the one supporting restrictions on freedom of speech.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!...Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." --Matthew 23:27-28