David Duke, Neturei Karta and Holocaust Denial.

I do not have a means of checking the quotation from the Newsnight e-mail preview quoted in the following comment by “will” but have no reason to disbelieve it. In fact, in light of the post from Adloyada that follows, I have good reason to believe it. The comment from Will first:

Newsnight on Iran’s Holocaust Conference (from their e-mail preview)

In the face of international condemnation, President Ahmedenijad has hosted a conference in Tehran entitled “Review of the Holocaust”.

We’ve been speaking to some of the delegates who include the former Republican congressman and one time Grand Master of the KKK David Duke.

In Washington? No, he was a congressman in the Louisiana state government.

(Willful misrepresentation by Newsnight?)

& all Republican’s are closet KKK men? Well see who Duke overcame to win his state seat

In 1989, he ran as a Republican for a seat representing Metairie in the Louisiana State House of Representatives. He defeated fellow Republican John Treen, the brother of David C. Treen, the first Republican to be elected governor of Louisiana since Reconstruction, by a narrow margin of 51-49 percent. Duke’s victory came despite visits to the district in support of John Treen’s candidacy by President George H.W. Bush, former President Ronald Reagan, and other GOP notables.

Wikipedia entry on David Duke

Now follows the post from Adloyada, who writes:

The BBC Radio 4 PM programme broke new ground this evening in offering David Duke airtime to justify his participation in the Iranian Holocaust conference on the grounds of “free speech” without alerting listeners to his Ku Klux Klan background, his convictions for fraud and his publication of virulently anti-semitic propaganda. It also gave an even more extended airtime opportunity to a leader of the Iran and Hamas supporting Neturei Karta, without letting its listeners know that the man was anything more than the rabbi of “an anti-zionist orthodox congregation in Vienna”.

Read the rest of the post to learn just how unrepresentative of Jewish Orthodox opinion Neturei Karta are.

I also note that the 2003 BBC article about David Duke that Adloyada links to seems to get his history wrong in just the same way as the email “will” quotes. The article says:

David Duke – who once held a seat for Louisiana in the House of Representatives

– I freely admit that the political system of Louisiana, which involves a “jungle primary” unlike any other in the United States, confuses me. But so far as I can see David Duke has never won office in the US House of Representatives. He has held office in the Louisiana State House of Representatives. There is a difference, you know. Oddly, a later sentence in the same article gets that aspect of things right:

Duke hit the Louisiana political scene in 1988, winning a seat as a Republican in the Louisiana House of Representatives after running on a “white rights” ticket.

But, wouldn’t you know it, that same sentence describes his party affiliation in such a way as to make the Republicans look as bad as possible. First off, Duke didn’t hit the Louisiana political scene in 1988 as a Republican – he first hit the Louisiana political scene in 1975 when he ran unsuccessfully for the Louisiana State Senate as a Democrat. He later ran for President, again as a Democrat. (And again unsuccessfully, in case anyone’s wondering.) Of course the BBC does not mention the official “reproval” from the Republican party nor the fact, quoted by “will” earlier, that the elder Bush and Ronald Reagan campaigned against Duke.

I would not bother quoting this old article at length were it not for the fact that the BBC seem to be making similar inaccurate statements now, possibly having got their “facts” from their earlier article.

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15 Responses to David Duke, Neturei Karta and Holocaust Denial.

  1. Charge says:

    Louisiana is maverick state in many ways the bbc would not know about. For example, if the bbc had bothered to research the place properly it would have discovered that Louisiana’s legal system is based on a French style code. This is unlike all the other states which use a British type of common law system.
    The bbc is so shallow in the ways they misinform the paying public.


  2. E.BOWMAN says:

    Two items came up in the BBC Newsnight program about the Holocaust Denial Conference. The first was allowing Duke to say his piece about freedom of Speech” (Sic). The second item was a long long interview with a Rabbi from a very small and seriously whacky sect that works for the destruction of Israel. In any other country except Israel these people would not be tolerated. Israelis can hold any opinion they like but the should not work against the state yhat gives them so much,
    The BBC was, in my opinion, making mischief by giving these basket cases so much airtime. The public has the right to be informed by a publicly funded institution, and to be given sufficient information to allow them to make up their own minds. The BBC should also mention the fate of any dissident in those Arab states that the BBC seems so keen to cosy up to.


  3. Jack Hughes says:

    Yes I listened in disbelief to Radio 4’s PM programme.

    It was a new variation on the familiar BBC theme of “5 minutes for the fire brigade and 5 minutes for the fire”.

    Its called “lets devote a whole programme to the fire”.


  4. AntiCitizenOne says:

    I wonder are there more FSM beleivers than there are Neturei Karta supporters?


  5. Anat says:

    Neturei Karta have always been fiercely anti-Zionist, but their numbers are very small and apparently dwindling. A notable case is that of Yehuda Meshi Zahav, in his youth a central anti-Zionist activist of Neturei Karta, but in recent years chairman of the rescue mission ZAKA, identifying terror victims and collecting body parts on terror scenes. For this activity he was awarded (and accepted) the honour of lighting a beacon on Israel’s Independence Day a few years back, which is an act of total identification with Zionism and the State of Israel.

    You win some you lose some.


  6. Biodegradable says:

    Oh boy, the BBC are really going to town on this now.
    Why are Jews at the ‘Holocaust denial’ conference?


  7. Geoff says:

    Of course Duke is being misrepresented as seeming to have served in Washington. That is the only way to distract people from the rather unfortunate fact that only one serving Senator is an ex-KKK member.

    Sen Robert Byrd – who is *cough* a Democrat *cough*


  8. Uncle Fungus says:

    I also heard the piece on PM, and felt ill after it. First we had the BBC’s Iranian correspondent Frances Harrison, who came out with gems like “The people of the conference disagree with the account of the holocaust believed by many people”, and “many delegates fear persecution on their return to their countries”.

    Next we got a bit of Duke, followed by long gentle talk with the crazy rabbi. 2/3 vs 0 to the jew haters.


  9. deegee says:

    I wonder did the BBC choose to interview Duke and the Neturei Karta kooks or was it instructed to do so by the Iranians?

    Which is worse?


  10. NeoMancunian says:

    Slightly O/T and nothing to do with BBC bias per se but have there been any reports of outraged holocaust believers running amok, burning buildings and killing holocaust deniers ?

    Wasn’t one the pretences of this conference to see how those in the ‘west’ would react to this example of expression of freedom of speech vis­-à-­vis the cartoon rumpus ?

    My view is that the ‘west’ hasn’t displayed the mass psychosis so often displayed by the RoP, so is this not a case of an Islamic nutter shooting himself in the foot (not that the BBC would ever present it in this way) ?


  11. Infection says:

    Uncle Fungus, what that blinkered Frances Harrison should say is that the people at the conference are in vicious denial because the facts of the Holocaust are not in dispute by normal people. Al-beeb should also point out that the perpetrators of the murder of millions, the Germans, themselves acknowledge this and make Holocaust denial a prisonable offence in Germany. Of course I will concede that Harrison might get tossed into prison if she says this in Iran.


  12. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    NeoMancunian: apart from the outraged reactions from the Vatican and Germany, one of the most interesting reactions came from Italy, where the Foreign Minister, D’Alema, is one of the worst Muslim-boosters in the neighbourhood. Nonetheless, he publicly and officially stated that the Iranian conference was inqualificabile, beneath description, which is the worst possible term of official condemnation in Italy, usually reserved for the worst acts of terrorists and criminals. Oh, but… terrorists and criminals… Ahmedinajad… I repeat myself.


  13. Biodegradable says:

    The Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced the extremist anti-Zionist Jews, Neturai Karta, who attended the Iranian regime’s Holocaust denial conference for ” defaming the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and endangering Jews everywhere,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

    “These people serve as willing lackeys of the Iranian regime that ordered the mass murder bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Argentina, arms Hezbollah with rockets and missiles, and as it pursues nuclearization, calls for annihilation of the world largest Jewish population- Israel.” Cooper continued, “The international community and media should not be fooled by the religious garb and posturing of these self-haters–they represent no one but themselves and are ostracized even by non-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel.” Cooper added, “We saw these same individuals at the infamous UN conference against racism in Durban South Africa just before 9/11, where they happily desecrated the Jewish Sabbath, parading around as part of the Hezbollah delegation.”

    While the Iranian media has focused on these traitors, the international media should take note that the revulsion against this attack on memory extends to many decent Iranians, including the only Jewish member of the Iranian Parliament who has had the courage to denounce this outrage,” Rabbi Cooper said.

    Meanwhile, the Simon Wiesenthal Center launched a unique three-city video conference (Los Angeles, New York and Toronto) where survivors of the Nazi Holocaust shared their personal testimonies from that brutal era.

    The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

    (My emphasis added)


  14. imli says:

    I’m amazed the BBC didn’t send a delegate, erm, I mean, reporter there themselves. Or, maybe they have.

    And not a word in the BBC about the student demonstration against the conference in Teheran.



  15. Alex Bensky says:

    And for that matter, a member of the state legislature would not be called a state congressman. He would be termed a state legislator, state representative, possibly in a few states an assemblyman. But any American hearing the word “congressman” would assume it to be someone in the US House of Representatives.

    It wasn’t the BBC but I noticed a number of reports referred to David Duke as an “academic.” Even he doesn’t claim to be that.