While it is legitimate to argue that there is a difference between cartoons and the murder of millions of people, it is hard to argue for laws against Holocaust denial but demand that the Danish cartoonists’ freedom of speech be protected. It suggests a double standard.

There is a far better way to fight Holocaust denial than to rely on the transitory force of law. When David Irving forced me to go to court to defend my freedom of expression, my most important weapon was the historical truth. We have truth and history on our side. From both an ideological and strategic perspective, those are far more powerful weapons than laws, especially laws that seem to counter the ideal of freedom of expression.


The best way to counter Holocaust deniers is to teach as many people as possible this history. That is why courses on history of the Holocaust have proven so popular and important. Students who take those courses will never fall prey to David Irving-like distortions.

Jewish tradition teaches that the Hebrew word emet, truth, composed as it is from the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, encompasses everything. The truth of the Holocaust is terrible and painful, but it is the truth and that is the most potent weapon anyone could want.


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