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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 2, 2006 / 2 Adar, 5766

‘Freedom for the thought we hate’

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Funny people, the Austrians. If you're Kurt Waldheim — a former Nazi military officer linked to a genocidal massacre during World War II — they elect you president. But if you're David Irving — a British author who claimed that there never was a Nazi genocide during World War II — they throw you in the slammer.


On second thought, not funny at all. Austria disgraced itself when it elected Waldheim president in 1986, apparently unconcerned by the revelation that he had served in a German military unit responsible for mass murder in the Balkans and been listed after the war as a wanted criminal by the UN War Crimes Commission. In a very different way it disgraced itself again last week, when a Vienna court sentenced Irving, a racist and an anti-Semite, to three years in prison for denying that the Nazis annihilated 6 million European Jews.


Irving is a man of great intellectual gifts who devoted his life to a grotesque and evil project: rehabilitating the reputation of Hitler and the Third Reich. Necessarily, that meant denying the Holocaust and ridiculing those who suffered in it, and Irving has long done so with relish. ''I don't see any reason to be tasteful about Auschwitz. It's baloney, it's a legend," he told a Canadian audience in 1991. ''There are so many Auschwitz survivors going around — in fact the number increases as the years go past, which is biologically very odd to say the least — I'm going to form an association of Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust, and Other Liars, or A-S-S-H-O-L-S."


Presumably Irving had in mind people like my father, whose arm bears to this day the number A-10502, tattooed there in blue ink on May 28, 1944, the day he and his family were transported to Auschwitz. My father's parents, David and Leah Jakubovic, and his youngest brother and sister, Alice, 8, and Yrvin, 10, were not tattooed; Jews deemed too old or too young to work were sent immediately to the gas chambers. His teenage siblings, Zoltan and Franceska, were tattooed and, like him, put to work as slave laborers. Zoltan was killed within days; Franceska lasted a few months. Of the seven members of the Jakubovic family sent to Auschwitz in the spring of 1944, only my father was alive in the spring of 1945.


So on a personal level, the prospect of David Irving spending his next three years in a prison cell is something over which I will lose no sleep. He is a repugnant, hate-filled liar, who even as a child (so his twin brother told the Telegraph, a British daily) was enamored of the Nazis and had a pronounced cruel streak.


But as a matter of law and public policy, Irving's sentence is deplorable. The opinions he expressed are vile, and his arguments about the Holocaust — perhaps the most comprehensively researched and documented crime in history — are ludicrous. But governments have no business criminalizing opinions and arguments, not even those that are vile or ludicrous. To be sure, freedom of speech is not absolute; laws against libel, death threats, and falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater are both reasonable and necessary. But free societies do not throw people in prison for giving offensive speeches or spouting historical lies.


Austria, the nation that produced Hitler and cheered the Anschluss, may well believe that its poisoned history requires a strong antidote. Punishing anyone who ''denies, grossly trivializes, approves, or seeks to justify" the Holocaust or other Nazi crimes may seem a small price to pay to keep would-be totalitarians and hatemongers at bay. But a government that can make the expression of Holocaust denial a crime today can make the expression of other offensive opinions a crime tomorrow.


Americans, for whom the First Amendment is a birthright, should understand this instinctively. ''If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought," wrote Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in 1929. ''Not free thought for those who agree with us, but freedom for the thought that we hate."


It is popular in some circles to argue that the United States should do certain things — adopt single-payer health insurance, abolish capital punishment, etc. — to conform to the practice in other democracies. Those who find that a persuasive argument might consider that Irving is behind bars today because Austria doesn't have a First Amendment. Neither do Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, or Switzerland — all of which have made Holocaust denial a crime.


''Freedom for the thought we hate" is never an easy sell, but without it there can be no true liberty. David Irving is a scurrilous creep, but he doesn't belong in prison. Austria should find a way to set him free — not for his sake, but for Austria's.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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