Friday 17 September 2010

Chomsky ventures into the quagmire of Holocaust deniers - again

Source: Rue 98 (Chomsky se risque encore dans le bourbier des négationnistes by Pascal Riché)

A petition to free Vincent Reynouard, a French negationist,  who is serving a prison sentence and to abrogate the Gayssot Act was initiated by two foremost "experts" on the famous Jewish/Zionist Lobby: Paul-Eric Blanrue and Jean Bricmont (Jean Bricmont is Belgian, he is a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain).  The petition has so far been signed by 1,000 people - not a great success.  The initiators are proud that it has Noam Chomsky's backing.  This is the letter he wrote :

"I understand that Vincent Reynouard has been condemned and jailed under the Gayssot law, and that a petition is being circulated in protest against these actions. I know nothing about Mr. Reynouard, but regard the Gayssot law as entirely illegitimate, inconsistent with the basic principles of a free society as these have been understood since the Enlightenment.

The law in effect grants the state the right to determine historical truth and to punish departure from its edicts, a principle reminiscent of the dark days of Stalinism and Nazism. If the justification of the Gayssot law is to ban "horrendous views", or to protect the right to "live free from fear of an atmosphere" of prejudice and racism, then it should be obvious that, if such laws were applied impartially, they would criminalize a vast range of public discourse, which, however despicable one may find it, should certainly be permitted in a free society, and indeed is, with no question being raised.

Accordingly, I would like to register my support for the petition protesting the application of this law in this (or any) case.
September, 5th 2010."

Pascal Riché notes: "This time Noam Chomsky is much more prudent than in his defense of Robert Faurisson in 1980. When the professor of literature at the University of Lyon was prosecuted for denying the existence of gas chambers, Chomsky signed a petition defending the right of expression of the French academic, author of "historical research thorough an independent investigation into the issue of the Holocaust"."

Read the whole piece in French HERE.

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