Holocaust denial, the denial of the genocidal killing of approximately six million Jews in Europe by Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, is illegal in Israel and 16 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain).
Here in the United States, notwithstanding the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech, “anti-Semitism” is not just politically incorrect and verboten, the trend is towards banning and criminalizing “anti-Semitism” and Holocaust denial altogether:
- A bill (HR 1697) in Congress seeks to make it a felony to support any anti-Israel boycott.
- On May 29, 2019, in Jerusalem, Israel, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill, HB 741, into law banning “anti-Semitism” in Florida’s public schools — the first bill in Florida history signed on foreign soil.
Below are two recent cases of alleged “anti-Semitism”.
(1) Political cartoonist Ben Garrison
Tomorrow, July 11, the Trump administration will host a Social Media Summit on the “opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment,” in the words of White House spokesperson Judd Deere.
Deere made the announcement on June 26, the same day President Trump said the federal government should file lawsuits against some of the tech giants. Trump has accused Google, Facebook and Twitter of being biased against him and other conservatives. (Politico)
Brilliant political cartoonist Ben Garrison was first invited to the Social Media Summit, then the invitation was rescinded because of complaints from the Anti-Defamation League that Garrison is “anti-Semitic”.
This is his statement:
(2) Florida high school principal William Latson
Meanwhile, a high school principal in Florida was fired for refusing to state that the Holocaust of six million Jews in WWII was a factual, historical event.
Sarah Mervosh reports for the New York Times that in April 2018, William Latson, the principal of Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, Fla., wrote in an email exchange with an unidentified parent that “Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” amd that he had to stay “politically neutral”. He said that the school offered an assembly and courses on the Holocaust, but that they were optional and could not be “forced upon” all students.
Making a distinction between his personal beliefs about the Holocaust and his role as the principal of a public school, Latson wrote: “I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school district employee. I do allow information about the Holocaust to be presented and allow students and parents to make decisions about it accordingly. I do the same with information about slavery.”
The emails were recently obtained and published by The Palm Beach Post, which led to an intense backlash in South Florida — an area with a third of the population being Jewish.
Thousands signed an online petition calling for Latson’s resignation. On July 1, the Palm Beach County school district announced that he would be stripped of his position as principal and reassigned to another job in the district.
In its statement, the school district said Latson had made “a grave error in judgment” in refusing to state the Holocaust as fact. Latson was counseled by district officials in a series of meetings, and spent several days at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to increase his awareness. Latson apologized in a statement to The Palm Beach Post: “I regret that the verbiage that I used when responding to an email message from a parent, one year ago, did not accurately reflect my professional and personal commitment to educating all students about the atrocities of the Holocaust.”