Deborah Lipstadt: Historian challenges Holocaust deniers

Historians in the News

Deborah Lipstadt, a historian and the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust studies at Emory University in Atlanta, will present “Holocaust Denial: A New Form of Anti-Semitism” at 7:15 p.m. today in the Klingenstein Lounge. Lipstadt will be speaking about her recent victory on trial with historian David Irving, who sued Lipstadt for libel after she called him a Holocaust denier. She will also discuss the issue of anti-Semitism and how individuals should address it. Contributing Writer Sherry Shen spoke with Lipstadt about anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, the recent British Union of Colleges and Universities boycott and other controversial issues in the news....

SS: What’s your response to the situation with the British Union of Colleges and Universities?

DL: I found it to be profoundly disturbing, because universities are not about boycotting. Universities are not about doing these blanket kinds of boycotts, number one. Number two, universities are places of openness, of learning, and this wasn’t a blanket boycott just of Israel. I wonder why they didn’t boycott Iran where they still stone women to death, why they didn’t boycott Egypt where it’s not a democratic system … or why don’t they boycott North Korea, or why don’t they boycott Sudan which is in the midst of a genocide? So I have to stop and wonder: why this double standard? … It just struck me as something that was started by people who are fierce haters of Israel. That doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with Israel’s policies — many people do. [There are] Israelis who do disagree with the government’s policies. But this was started by people way over the top, bordering on anti-Semitism.

SS: Can you also tell us more about what you exactly meant when you said that Jimmy Carter is in “soft denial”?

DL: Do I think Jimmy Carter is a Holocaust denier? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. In fact, the commission that led to the building of the Holocaust Museum was set up on his watch. But when he wrote his book ... he put in a chronology there with the most important things that have happened in order to understand the Arab-Israeli conflict, and he had something happening in 1939, and then he had something happening in 1947. … This is to suggest that between 1939 and 1947, nothing of any importance happened. Now, one out of every three Jews was murdered in those years and while it didn’t happen in the Middle East, if you want to understand the Israeli worldview you can’t just say, “That’s not important.” It’s completely ridiculous. It shows his soft denial. It shows his blinders. The guy has blinders on. He sees the issue from one perspective only....
Read entire article at http://theithacan.org

comments powered by Disqus