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excerpt from THE CAMPAIGN TO DECRIMINALIZE HOLOCAUST HISTORY by Bradley Smith:
Even though there are not yet any laws in the United States that criminalize Holocaust and World War II research, that doesn’t mean that there is a free and open exchange of ideas regarding these subjects. There are plenty of ways to suppress free speech in a free country. Apart from the banning of dissident Holocaust views on college campuses (discussed earlier), there is also that most reliable method of stifling free speech – outright intimidation and threats of violence.
Irv Rubin ran a Los Angeles-based organization called the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a militant, paramilitary-style activist group. If Mr. Rubin’s name sounds familiar, it’s because in December 2001, three months after 9/11, Rubin and his JDL second-in-command, Earl Krugel, made headlines when they were arrested by the FBI for plotting to blow up Muslim and Arab targets in L.A. The targets included a West L.A. mosque, and the offices of Lebanese-American congressman Darrel Issa. The day of destruction was apparently planned for December 13, 2001, but fortunately the FBI was able to intercept the plot before the bombs could be planted 49. Had Rubin’s plan been carried out, hundreds, possibly thousands, of innocent people would have been killed. Rubin committed suicide on November 4, 2002, while in prison awaiting trial. Soon afterwards, Krugel plead guilty to federal conspiracy and hate-crime charges.
What no one in the press or in law enforcement seemed eager to discuss in the wake of Rubin’s arrest was that, for the past twenty years, Rubin and the JDL had routinely terrorized dissident Holocaust and World War II scholars and researchers, and the authorities did nothing about it. In May 1982, the JDL firebombed the Los Angeles home of history teacher Dr. George Ashley 50. In December of that year, Dr. Ashley’s home was ransacked, and a note left behind by the JDL warned Ashley to stop espousing revisionist Holocaust views 51. Finally, in May 1985, Dr. Ashley’s home was firebombed and burned to the ground 52.
In 1982 and 1983, the JDL physically assaulted Cal State Long Beach professor Reinhard Buchner, who served on the editorial board of a publishing house that published revisionist books 53. In September 1982, the offices of that publishing house were riddled with bullets and burned by an arson device 54. On July 4, 1984, that same publishing house was completely burned to the ground by the JDL, causing over $400,000 in damage and destroying over 10,000 books 55.
In June 1985 the JDL firebombed the offices of a Santa Monica, CA, German-American organization that had published revisionist Holocaust views in its newsletter 56. And in April 1985, the JDL trashed the car of University of Tulsa professor Charles Weber be-cause of his Holocaust research. A note left on Dr. Weber’s windshield brazenly identified the attack as the work of the JDL, and threatened Dr. Weber with further violence should he continue writing about the Holocaust 57.
In February 1989, the JDL threatened the Red Lion hotel chain with violence unless it cancelled a conference of Holocaust and World War II revisionists that was scheduled to take place at one of the chain’s Orange County, CA, locations. Red Lion cancelled the event, which was moved to a nearby Holiday Inn. When the Holiday Inn received similar threats from the JDL, it, too, cancelled the event 58.
The JDL’s attacks on dissident Holocaust researchers reached its peak in 1994, when Irv Rubin, now making use of the information superhighway, posted a notice in the Internet calling for the murder of documentary filmmaker and Holocaust researcher David Cole, who had produced the film in which the Director of the Auschwitz State Museum in Poland admitted that the “gas chamber” there was a post-war fake. Rubin had previously assaulted Cole (who, it should be noted, is Jewish) in 1991, when Cole was invited to speak at UCLA, beating Cole on stage, in front of hundreds of people, and as cameras for the CBS news program 48 Hours were rolling 59. The notice that Rubin circulated on the Internet in 1994 was titled Who is David Cole and Why Must He Die? It referred to Cole as a “Jewish traitor” who had to be “taken out,” and it featured a photo of Cole 60.
In November 1994, three months after Rubin’s “death warrant” for Cole was put on the Internet, Cole was beaten by unknown assail-ants in his Culver City, CA, neighborhood 61. Several months before that attack, Rubin and Earl Krugel – Rubin’s co-conspirator in the thwarted 2001 bombings – were interviewed by a freelance journalist in L.A. During the videotaped interview, Krugel unambiguously expressed his desire to see Cole dead 62. After 1994, Cole went into hiding, prompting Rubin to offer a “large monetary reward” to anyone who could divulge Cole’s location, adding that he was now ready to take “immediate action” to “eliminate” Cole 63.
In December 1997, Irv Rubin and David Cole reached an agreement, in which Cole publicly recanted his Holocaust views, and Rubin removed the death warrant and the “reward” from the JDL website. After receiving Cole’s recantation, Rubin bragged on his website that this is “evidence of the power of the Jewish Defense League 64.” Cole has not spoken a word publicly since then.
At no time during this twenty-year history of threats and attacks against revisionist researchers and historians did the local police, the FBI, or the press express any real interest in the JDL’s terrorist activities. As long as the targets of Mr. Rubin’s wrath were dissident historians and filmmakers, no one seemed to care. It was only when Rubin tried to mount an attack against other targets that the authori-ties started paying attention. Fortunately, the FBI was able to prevent a massacre in 2001, but it’s not unreasonable to suggest that if the JDL’s earlier attacks against dissident historians had been taken seriously, if people had cared that these beatings, bombings, and threats were taking place, Rubin might not have been in a position to mount the December 2001 attacks, and hundreds of innocent Arab and Muslim-Americans wouldn’t have come so close to meeting a violent death.
Of course, it doesn’t always take something as extreme as a firebomb or a death warrant to intimidate people. Across the U.S., dozens of teachers, at the grade school, high school, and college level, have been fired, suspended, or reprimanded for voicing alternative viewpoints regarding the Holocaust and World War II 65. Dissident historians have been unable to find publishers for their books, or have been unceremoniously dropped by their publishers 66. Even without formal laws criminalizing Holocaust and World War II history, the private sector has, in its own way, been able to stifle free speech through job reprisals. Reprisals such as these can be just as effective as state-sponsored censorship.
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