Outrage after Holocaust denier David Irving invited to Oxford Union (& “Not Nobel Winners”)

October 14, 2007


1. The AP, biased as usual when it comes to Israel
2. Saudi paper: Israeli captives transferred to Iran
3. Outrage after Holocaust denier David Irving invited to Oxford Union
4. Iraq sees dramatically low death toll
5. Miss Arab World
6. Not Nobel Winners
7. Gore follows in the footsteps of Carter and Arafat
8. Al Gore’s inconvenient judgment


[Notes below by Tom Gross]

Below are entries I have written and posted on the National Review’s Media Blog in the last three days. The first five concern the Middle East and the last three entries relate to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore.


Sunday, October 14, 2007


Here is yet another example of the Associated Press editorializing in order to hurt Israel:

Israel Talks Peace, Draws Lines
Published: October 13, 2007, 2:07 p.m. ET

KEDAR SETTLEMENT, West Bank (AP) -- First a sprawling police headquarters went up, now bulldozers are leveling ground for a highway, and by year’s end Israel will have laid claim to another strategic West Bank hill, taking one more chunk out of a future Palestine even as Israel says it wants to negotiate its borders...

As the world’s biggest news agency, Associated Press articles are used not only by major publications across the world, but by the more marginal ones too, for example the following:


The damage they do.


Sunday, October 14, 2007


The leading pan-Arab newspaper, the London-based, Saudi-owned al-Sharq al-Awsat, reports today that Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, the two young Israeli soldiers taken hostage by the Hizbullah terror group last summer, have been transferred to Iran.

According to the report, the captives – who were seized by Hizbullah inside Israeli territory – were transferred to Iran shortly after their kidnapping in a special operation overseen by a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander. (The Revolutionary Guards were recently declared a terrorist organization by a vote in the U.S. Congress.)

A source at the headquarters of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told al-Sharq al-Awsat that the planned release of an Iranian intelligence officer, Kazem Darabi, who is being held in Germany, could be related to a possible deal regarding the captives.

But Ehud Goldwasser’s mother this morning dismissed the report as “spin”. “We hear these kind of things all the time. There is no corroborating evidence to these reports. It is part of the Iranian government’s psychological warfare,” she said.


Friday, October 12, 2007


Oxford University’s world famous Oxford Union debating society has sparked outrage after it was revealed that they have invited Holocaust denier David Irving, who was recently released from an Austrian jail, to address students at the end of November. The Oxford Union has also asked British fascist leader Nick Griffin to join him, reports The Guardian.

“If Columbia can invite Ahmadinejad, then why shouldn’t we invite Irving?” one Oxford Union committee member asked.

Last month Irving told The Guardian that the Jews were responsible for “most of the wars of the last 100 years.”

Duncan Money, a second-year student at the university, said: “It is disappointing that the Oxford Union has chosen to promote and legitimize fascism.”

The Oxford Union had already been criticized for a debate they are holding later this month titled “This House Believes that One State is the Only Solution to the Israel-Palestine Conflict.” Norman Finkelstein, who has been accused of being an anti-Semite and Holocaust revisionist, will be one of the key speakers, as will former Israelis Avi Shlaim and Ilan Pappe, both of whom will be speaking against the continuing existence of Israel.

In his book, “The Holocaust Industry,” Finkelstein referred to Jewish leaders as “caricatures straight from the pages of Der Stuermer and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” On his website, he called Jewish historian Deborah Lipstadt the “Elsie the Cow Chair in Judeo-Yenta Studies.” And he said Auschwitz death camp survivor Elie Wiesel was “the resident clown of the Holocaust circus.”

Another “expert” Oxford has invited to speak at the debate is Ghada Karmi who has publicly described Jewish immigrants to Israel as “aliens,” “complicated,” “very difficult to deal with,” and “bringing their miserable lives with them.”

No Israeli has been invited by Oxford to put the opposing view. I wonder who is paying speakers’ fees and travel expenses for this “debate”.

Also: Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer have been invited to St Antony’s College, Oxford next month where they will be promoting their conspiracy theory book, “The Israel Lobby.” In their trip to England, the pair have also been invited to make addresses at the LSE, SOAS, Chatham House, and the House of Lords.


Sunday, October 14, 2007


Some good news. I wonder how widely this will be reported?


Iraq Sees Dramatically Low Death Toll
Published: October 13, 2007

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The civilian death toll in Iraq fell to its lowest level in recent memory Saturday, with only four people killed or found dead nationwide, according to reports from police, morgue officials and credible witnesses.

Saturday marked the beginning of the Eid al-Fitr feast for Shiites, the three-day capstone closing out the Ramadan month of fasting. Sunnis began celebrating the holiday on Sunday.

The daily number of civilians killed, not including those on days when there were massive casualties from car bombs, had climbed above 100 at the end of last year and the beginning of 2007.

Saturday’s decline in deaths was in line with a sharp drop in September of both Iraqi civilian and U.S. military fatalities.

The four dead included three death squad victims found in Baghdad and the bodyguard of the Kirkuk police commander who was killed in a roadside bombing.


Friday, October 12, 2007


Veils seem to remain in fashion among about half the candidates, if you scroll down here.


Sunday, October 14, 2007


Following up my previous posts (see the two items below this one) on the increasingly irrelevant Nobel Peace Prize Committee, below is part of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial on the subject. (The markings in bold are mine.)


In Oslo yesterday, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was not awarded to the Burmese monks whose defiance against, and brutalization at the hands of, the country’s military junta in recent weeks captured the attention of the Free World.

The prize was also not awarded to Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara and other Zimbabwe opposition leaders who were arrested and in some cases beaten by police earlier this year while protesting peacefully against dictator Robert Mugabe.

Or to Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest in Vietnam arrested this year and sentenced to eight years in prison for helping the pro-democracy group Block 8406.

Or to Wajeha al-Huwaider and Fawzia al-Uyyouni, co-founders of the League of Demanders of Women’s Right to Drive Cars in Saudi Arabia, who are waging a modest struggle with grand ambitions to secure basic rights for women in that Muslim country.

... Or to Garry Kasparov and the several hundred Russians who were arrested in April, and are continually harassed, for resisting President Vladimir Putin’s slide toward authoritarian rule.

Or to the people of Iraq, who bravely work to rebuild and reunite their country amid constant threats to themselves and their families from terrorists who deliberately target civilians.

... Or to thousands of Chinese bloggers who run the risk of arrest by trying to bring uncensored information to their countrymen.

Or to scholar and activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim, jailed presidential candidate Ayman Nour and other democracy campaigners in Egypt.

Or, posthumously, to lawmakers Walid Eido, Pierre Gemayel, Antoine Ghanem, Rafik Hariri, George Hawi and Gibran Tueni; journalist Samir Kassir; and other Lebanese citizens who’ve been assassinated since 2005 for their efforts to free their country from Syrian control.

Or to the Reverend Phillip Buck; Pastor Chun Ki Won and his organization, Durihana; Tim Peters and his Helping Hands Korea; and Liberty in North Korea, who help North Korean refugees escape to safety in free nations.

These men and women put their own lives and livelihoods at risk by working to rid the world of violence and oppression. Let us hope they survive the coming year so that the Nobel Prize Committee might consider them for the 2008 award.


Friday, October 12, 2007


And he’s done it. I’ve just watched the announcement live on TV on various channels.

It’s not the first time those (un)wise people at the Nobel committee have given the Nobel “Peace” Prize to a left-wing politician – other recent recipients include Jimmy Carter and Yasser Arafat.

While Gore isn’t in the category of putting back peace, as Carter and Arafat clearly are, it is not quite clear what he has done to advance peace.


Friday, October 12, 2007


Al Gore has been nominated jointly with Canadian Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, to be announced later today. Here’s some food for thought in advance of the announcement.

From The Times of London today:

Al Gore’s award-winning climate change documentary was littered with nine inconvenient untruths, a judge ruled yesterday.

An Inconvenient Truth won plaudits from the environmental lobby and an Oscar from the film industry but was found wanting when it was scrutinised in the High Court in London.

Mr Justice Burton identified nine significant errors within the former presidential candidate’s documentary as he assessed whether it should be shown to school children.

… In what is a rare judicial ruling on what children can see in the class-room, Mr Justice Barton was at pains to point out that the “apocalyptic vision” presented in the film was politically partisan and not an impartial analysis of the science of climate change.

… The analysis by the judge will have a bearing on whether the Government can continue with its plan to have the film shown in every secondary [high] school. He agreed it could be shown but on the condition that it was accompanied by new guidance notes for teachers to balance Mr Gore’s “one-sided” views.

… The first mistake made by Mr Gore, said Mr Justice Burton in his written judgment, was in talking about the potential devastation wrought by a rise in sea levels caused by the melting of ice caps.

The claim that sea levels could rise by 20ft “in the near future” was dismissed as “distinctly alarmist”. Such a rise would take place “only after, and over, millennia”.

… Mr Gore’s suggestion that the Gulf Stream, that warms up the Atlantic ocean, would shut down was contradicted by the International Panel on Climate Change’s assessment that it was “very unlikely” to happen.

The drying of Lake Chad, the loss of Mount Kilimanjaro’s snows and Hurricane Katrina were all blamed by Mr Gore on climate change but the judge said the scientific community had been unable to find evidence to prove there was a direct link.

The drying of Lake Chad, the judge said, was “far more likely to result from other factors, such as population increase and overgrazing, and regional climate variability”.

The judge also said there was no proof to support a claim that polar bears were drowning while searching for icy habitats melted by global warming. The only drowned polar bears the court was aware of were four that died following a storm.


An Inconvenient Truth is the third-highest grossing documentary ever in the United States, taking in more than $23 million. It has earned $49 million at the box office worldwide so far. It was shown at the Sundance Film Festival and won an Oscar this year for Best Documentary, Features.

The companion book written by Gore has been on The New York Times bestseller list since June 11, 2006.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.