ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

The Guardian, Holocaust Denial and John Mortl.

with 20 comments

There is one sure way of spotting a Jew hater or a Jew baiter, they can’t resist returning to the subject, time after time.

For them their loathing of Jews is a constant, like a scab on their arm that they can’t resist picking.

It is an overpowering fixation, which they can’t stop expressing.

They might be able to hide it for a while, but rather inevitably these twisted obsessives will return to the object of their hatred, Jews. It is just a matter of time.

So I wasn’t surprised that one of the correspondents in today’s Guardian, who’s pushing Holocaust denial in the letters page has ‘form’.

Here’s the obnoxious letter from John Mortl:

”What kind of justice is it that proscribes the normally accepted right of the accused to challenge the assumption that a crime had, in fact, occurred? Normally the prosecution is obliged to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the crime of murder had taken place. This is not the case in the trial of Demjanjuk. The court will, without proof, arbitrarily accept that the crime took place. Being stripped of his most powerful defence, the accused is reduced to pleading mistaken identity or that he had nothing to do with an unproved murder.

John Mortl

London”

Another letter from Mortl in the Independent:

”Sir: I couldn’t believe the insensitivity displayed by Andrew Gumbel in his article about Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion (5 February). For him to refer to a passage in the Bible as “discredited” is an outrage and a direct attack on Christian beliefs. Would he dare to refer to a passage in the Koran or the Talmud as “discredited”?

JOHN MORTL
London NW6”

Again from the Observer:

” · For half a century, Israelis have viciously brutalised, tortured, assassinated and dispossessed the indigenous population of Palestine.

Periodically, when a new plateau of ruthlessness is reached and the world is shaken out of its numbed acceptance of the previous level then you can count on the anti-Semitic card being played to divert attention.

David Aaronovitch has made his contribution to the proliferation of such comment pieces. The same clichés, the same emotionally-charged innuendos and intimations surrounding the questionable notion of exclusive suffering and collective guilt.

John Mortl
London NW6”

And, finally another example:

“Regarding Robert Bernstein’s ”Lost in the Mideast” (Views, Oct. 21): There are those who should be criticized for their human rights failures and those who get a pass. Why the double standard? Mr. Bernstein suggests an answer: Some countries, like Israel, will eventually rectify their transgressions. How long should these preferred countries be given to rectify their misdeeds?

John Mortl, London”

Astute Readers will see the common theme, how the Jew hater and Jew baiter will exploit the conflict in the Middle East as a shield for their real views, which were revealed in Mortl’s first letter to the Guardian, his sympathy for Holocaust denial.

(H/T: Engage )

Update 1: The CST picks up the issue. Like them I found a IHR reference to “John Mortl”, I believe a resident of Canada around the late 1990s, but as I couldn’t confirm he was one and the same I didn’t comment. Still the name is unusual, Mortl and it might be the same person. Who knows?

Update 2: One of my readers, Jeremy, has much more on the Mortls. It is very good stuff, Conan Doyle would be proud of his sleuthing:

“jeremy Says:

December 3, 2009 9:13 pm at 9:13 pm e

In 1998 a Lynda Mortl of Toronto wrote a letter to the Toronto Sun defending Ernst Zundel. (Google results for her lead to hate sites, so I do not include the links, but to see them, Google “Lynda Mortl” and “Zundel”).) A Lynda Mortl of London in 2005 wrote a letter to the Times defending Israel Shamir (Google “This obsession with anti-Semitism” and “Mortl”).

Interestingly, the recently hacked email messages of David Irving include a message from someone named Lynda Mortl, whose email address is lynjohn35@hotmail.com. (Google the address to see.)

Her message: “Hi: Will you be speaking in New York City. someone I know would be interested if the timing is right. Let me know approximate date. Lynda”

An earlier (from 2002), and longer, message from her (and from the same email address) to Irving appears on his Web site (Google “Lynda Mortl has been investigating library censorship of websites”).

Interesting. What fools these Mortls appear to be…”

Update 3: It would seem that Lynda is the wife of a John Mortl, as indicated by a post on the Usenet group, alt.revisionism, where a John Mortl posts:

“… reminded me of my own experience in the winter of 1986-87 when my wife, Lynda, and I, along with another couple, decided to attend a night course on the Holocaust at a Toronto High School. …”

Update 4: Another Lynda Mortl has been found, in 2005, writing to the Times applauding that well known racist, Israel Shamir with the same postcode of John Mortl, see above, NW6. So I suppose they’ve moved to London and brought their racism to Kilburn. Letter editors beware!

Update 5: The Guardian has removed the Mortl letter, and here’s their comment:

“Editor’s statement: We published a letter by John Mortl in the Guardian of Thursday 3 December and on this site relating to the case of John Demjanjuk, who is accused of assisting in the murder of 27,900 people in Poland. Unfortunately, we misread the letter. The underlying meaning, we now realise, implied Holocaust denial. As soon as we realised our mistake, we removed the letter from the site. It should never have been published and we apologise unreservedly that it was.”

Still, it is good to keep a copy as a reference to the Guardian’s terrible mistake. I wonder what prompted the Guardian’s change?

Update 6: Thanks to one of my readers, it was the CST and the HET that prompted the change. Pity though that the Guardian editorial staff couldn’t see it for themselves:

“On 3rd December, the Guardian letters page printed a letter by John Mortl that appeared to allude to Holocaust denial.

CST discussed the letter with the Holocaust Educational Trust, following which HET’s Paul Evans wrote an excellent analysis of it for CST’s blog. This showed that our initial suspicions were entirely correct.
CST forwarded Evans article to the Guardian, where senior staff then took immediate action to remove Mortl’s letter from the Guardian website.

It is of course regrettable that the letter was ever published, and whilst CST blog was not the only website to mount criticism of the Guardian, we are very happy to have worked with both HET and the newspaper to help achieve a quick and constructive outcome.”

Update 7: Those fine people at Holocaust Controversies (an anti-Holocaust denial blog) agree, John Mortl is, indeed, a hardcore denier.

Update 8: A “John Mortl” also posts on the neo-Nazi, Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust forums, as can be seen from this Google cached copy.

Written by modernityblog

03/12/2009 at 15:40

20 Responses

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  1. […] Modernity sheds some light on the letter writer’s views. Posted in Uncategorized. 4 Comments […]

  2. See also:

    http://thecst.org.uk/blog/?p=978

    Quote: ‘This is the stuff of classical antisemitic conspiracy theorists, directly asserting that the Jews as a race bear responsibility for all wars. A few months later on a legal affairs blog run by the Inner Temple Library, we again find a “John Mortl” comment, this time in defence of Australian Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben. Finally, in March this year we find opinion from a John Mortl on a Holocaust Denial Forum, discussing the need for “a change of emphasis at the IHR”.’

    jeremy

    03/12/2009 at 19:52

  3. Thanks I found had a John Mortl on IHR and other places, but I am not sure that it is necessarily the same person.

    It could be, but the other John Motrl came from Canada.

    Maybe he moved, the name is unusual but it is clear enough that the London based John Mortl’s comments were bad enough.

    modernityblog

    03/12/2009 at 20:01

  4. In 1998 a Lynda Mortl of Toronto wrote a letter to the Toronto Sun defending Ernst Zundel. (Google results for her lead to hate sites, so I do not include the links, but to see them, Google “Lynda Mortl” and “Zundel”).) A Lynda Mortl of London in 2005 wrote a letter to the Times defending Israel Shamir (Google “This obsession with anti-Semitism” and “Mortl”).

    Interestingly, the recently hacked email messages of David Irving include a message from someone named Lynda Mortl, whose email address is lynjohn35@hotmail.com. (Google the address to see.)

    Her message: “Hi: Will you be speaking in New York City. someone I know would be interested if the timing is right. Let me know approximate date. Lynda”

    An earlier (from 2002), and longer, message from her (and from the same email address) to Irving appears on his Web site (Google “Lynda Mortl has been investigating library censorship of websites”).

    Interesting. What fools these Mortls appear to be…

    jeremy

    03/12/2009 at 21:13

  5. Excellent sleuthing, Jeremy.

    If you don’t mind I’ll include it in the post?

    modernityblog

    03/12/2009 at 21:41

  6. Good sleuthing, thank you

    Jonathan

    03/12/2009 at 22:18

  7. The comment that Modernity quotes is from a letter from John Mortl that was published in an issue (from 1993) of journal for the decrepit, so-called Institute for Historical Review. (Google “Lessons from a Toronto Holocaust Class”).

    So there you have it.

    jeremy

    03/12/2009 at 23:34

  8. It is a pity that the letter’s editor at the Guardian didn’t think that neo-nazis and Holocaust deniers might try and exculpate Demjanjuk? And be prepared?

    I suppose that radical idea wouldn’t have come up in a Guardian editorial meetings?

    Perhaps, the letter editor might want to learn to use Google, next time?

    modernityblog

    03/12/2009 at 23:40

  9. Lynda Mortl has only one friend on her Facebook page, one Keltie Zubko. It so happens that Ms Zubko is the wife of Doug Christie, the “lawyer to the stars of Canada’s white-supremacist movement these last two decades”, including Ernst Zundel.
    http://www.douglaschristie.com/Paterson.htm

    hasan prishtina

    04/12/2009 at 00:27

  10. very interesting link, what a funny pile of people?

    modernityblog

    04/12/2009 at 01:35

  11. When I clicked on the link the letter did not seem to be there. Is this a case of my computer malfunctioning or did the Guardian actually remove an anti-Semitic rant?

    Inna

    Inna

    04/12/2009 at 05:24

  12. Inna,

    Which letter? If the last one from Lynda Mortl, it is embedded in a JustPeaceUK message. If you press the CTRL and F then put in Mortl, you’ll find it🙂

    modernity

    04/12/2009 at 13:02

  13. The letter has been removed from the Guardian’s Web site and there is now this message:

    “We published a letter by John Mortl in the Guardian of Thursday 3 December and on this site relating to the case of John Demjanjuk, who is accused of assisting in the murder of 27,900 people in Poland. Unfortunately, we misread the letter. The underlying meaning, we now realise, implied Holocaust denial. As soon as we realised our mistake, we removed the letter from the site. It should never have been published and we apologise unreservedly that it was.” (via Harry’s Place)

    jeremy

    04/12/2009 at 14:53

  14. I wonder what prompted the Guardian’s change?

    I believe it was the CST and the HET contacting them:
    http://thecst.org.uk/blog/?p=996

    Biodegradable

    04/12/2009 at 16:27

  15. Thanks for that.

    modernityblog

    04/12/2009 at 16:28

  16. Unfortunately, we misread the letter.

    That must rate as the weakest excuse ever.

    Biodegradable

    04/12/2009 at 16:29

  17. Yeah, ‘ we (the Guardian) only read for a living and exercise editorial judgements on a minute by minute basis, but, er, well, er we couldn’t see the Holocaust denial in that letter, it is hard, you know….’

    Pathetic.

    modernityblog

    04/12/2009 at 16:35

  18. Perhaps it was more a case of misreading the readers.

    Now all they need to do is re-read some of the comments on CiF and begin deleting them and publishing apologies. There are far more clear-cut examples of Holocaust denial and Jew-hatred to be found there than that displayed in the Mortl letter.

    One has to wonder if the letter would have remained if it hadn’t been shown that Mortl has a history and indisputable links to known Holocaust deniers.

    Biodegradable

    04/12/2009 at 16:47

  19. “John Demjanjuk, who is accused of assisting in the murder of 27,900 people in Poland.

    It still pains The Guardian to admit that those “people” were in fact Jews!

    http://blogs.reuters.com/global/2009/12/03/history-comes-alive-at-demjanjuk-trial/
    John Demjanjuk, 89, accused of helping to force 27,900 Jews into gas chambers at an extermination camp in 1943

    Biodegradable

    04/12/2009 at 16:55

  20. […] Falls For The Guardian Trap. I am indebted to the Z-Word blog for highlighting the issue of yet another dodgy letter published in the mainstream […]


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