El Mundo and David Irving
Looking at the story of El Mundo’s terrible decision to interview David Irving I can’t help wondering if Deborah Lipstadt’s book, Denying the Holocaust, should be compulsory reading for politicians, journalists, lawyers and those in the media.
Compulsory is perhaps too strong a word, but necessary?
Obligatory is probably better, as it is very apparent that many in these professions don’t actually understand what Holocaust denial really is. Or where it is leading to.
Of course, a lot of these individuals could have a stab at defining it crudely, but I suspect if you asked for a detailed breakdown of the why, the where and the how’s of Holocaust denial then the answer might not be too satisfactory.
Which is where Deborah Lipstadt’s work comes in, it explains what precisely is Holocaust denial in its many forms, who does it and why. There is a lot more to it than the title suggests, she covers the nature of the Far Right, their methods and why they push these ideas, essentially to sanitize and legitimize fascism. That’s their goal.
More importantly, which this relates to El Mundo’s and Irving, why Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis and their fascist follow travellers, such as Irving, should not be treated as if they are somehow part of the legitimate debate within society.
From memory, rather Lipstadt argues that no one should confer any legitimacy on these irrational cranks, as if their ideas demand some audience, which they clearly don’t.
El Mundo’s decision is wrong, it promotes Irving and indirectly it promotes neo-fascism.
It is an all too common problem in society nowadays, a lack of understanding when it comes to the Far Right, their methods and objectives. The professional classes, including many journalists as evidenced by the Guardian’s behaviour, simply don’t grasp why it is so important not to give these Far Right propagandists any free publicity.