Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 26: Electronic Edition

Pages 131 - 135 of 159

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Shall I read to you, and you will remember
 2it, what it says: "The confluence between anti-Israel,
 3anti-semitic and Holocaust denial forces was exemplified
 4by a world anit-Zionist conference scheduled for Sweden in
 5November 19922, and then says it is cancelled, but there
 6were a whole lot of scheduled speakers, including black
 7Muslim leader Ferikan, Faurisson: "Also scheduled to
 8participate were representatives of various anti-Semitic
 9and anti-Israel organizations, including Hamyat,
10Hesbollah, Hamas, and then I think I am right in saying
11that later on she returns to the same general topic.
12 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, your Lordship might also read 161.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I knew there was another relevant bit.
14 MR RAMPTON:     122 to 130.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     There is a reference to your having appeared
16at IHR conferences. I do not want to read great chunks of
17this out.
18 MR IRVING:     No, my Lord. It is the extremism we are looking
19for, and really the relevance of any extremism. I believe
20the allegation is association with extremists.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
22 MR IRVING:     Or extremist associations. I am anxious to try to
23shorten the whole process, particularly I am anxious to
24shorten any other public flogging which is held in
25prospect for me.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us just take in what I hope logical are

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 1stages. I think I am missing out a passage which may be
 2relevant to this, but anyway those are things that
 3Professor Lipstadt writes. Then you, as you say, put on
 4those words as one of the meanings ----
 5 MR IRVING:     The only relevant meaning is that in the next
 6paragraph 9.1, that the Plaintiff is dangerous
 7spokesperson for Holocaust denial forces, who deliberately
 8and knowingly consorts and consorted with anti-Israel,
 9anti-semitic and Holocaust denial forces, agreeing to
10appear in public in support of and along side violent
11extremist speakers, and I emphasis the words "violent and"
12because associating with extremists is not in itself
13reprehensible.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Perhaps one ought just to read to the end of
15that, because it is all part of the meaning you put on the
16words.
17 MR IRVING:     Indeed, yes.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Including, to take it shortly, Hesbollah,
19Ferikan, Jew baiting black agitator, and so on.
20 MR IRVING:     That is right.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Admirer of Colonel Gadaffi.
22 MR IRVING:     In my submission, if the Defendants intend to
23cross-examine me in any great detail on either my opinions
24or state of mind or correspondence or speeches or
25activities, it is perfectly entitled to go to any
26associations I have had with violent extremists who are

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 1not many, if I can put it like that.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Why not non-violent extremists?
 3 MR IRVING:     My Lord, non-violent extremism is not defamatory,
 4if I can put it that way round. If I were to associate
 5with somebody who held extremist views, this would not be
 6in the least bit reprehensible. I could associate, for
 7example, with Lawton LJ or with Cumming-Bruce LJ who both
 8held extreme political views in the 1930s, but nobody hold
 9it the least bit against me if I were to associate them
10now because of course I believe they sit next to each
11other in the Court of Appeal. So holding extreme views
12has never been held to be reprehensible. I think this has
13been established in law, that it is not defamatory to call
14somebody a communist. It is not defamatory,
15unfortunately, to call somebody a Nazi or a fascist except
16in certain circumstances. The context can sometimes make
17it defamatory, but per se it is not actually defamatory as
18such to accuse somebody of having extremist views.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not sure about that. I think it may be
20defamatory of somebody to say that he or she consorts or
21associates with what you might call extreme extremists,
22i.e., really the lunatic fringe of extremist because.
23 MR IRVING:     Without any question, if the extremism is expressed
24in violence.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let me just finish, because, and this is what
26we call the sting of the libel, you are being, to put it

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 1mildly, careless in your choice of friends. That is the
 2way in which I think it becomes defamatory to make that
 3kind of allegation.
 4 MR IRVING:     Careless in their choice of friends, probably all
 5of us is careless in their choice of friends, my Lord, and
 6I would not consider that to be a very severe libel at
 7all.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It may not be the most severe libel, but the
 9question we are on at the moment is whether it is
10defamatory at all.
11 MR IRVING:     The real defamation here, and if we are looking for
12a scale of defamation, the sting of the libel is that
13I associate with people who are violently extremist, who
14express their extremism by violent means and whose
15extremism goes towards the overthrow of the democratic
16rule of law or the overthrow of governments. That is
17allegation that is made in the allegation that I consort
18with Hamas or Hesbollah or terrorists leaders, that I am
19willing to go on the same platform with them and speak
20next to somebody like Louis Ferikan. That is the sting of
21the libel, and to use that as a door to open my private
22files to the exposure of the public, to suggest, well, he
23has also got all sorts of other sleezy and unsavoury
24friends or associates, whether it is true or false, is
25I think highly prejudicial.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think you are making two different points,

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 1if I may say so. The first question is whether it is
 2defamatory at all to say that you consort with extremists,
 3leave aside what sort of extremists they are, and, as
 4I understand it, the second argument you make is that what
 5actually Professor Lipstadt wrote is that you consort with
 6a particular kind of extremist, namely violent extremists,
 7and that the Defendant's particulars of justification do
 8not really include those sorts of extremists; they include
 9other extremist but not the violently sort like
10Hesbollah. Is that a fair summary of the way you put it?
11 MR IRVING:     Your Lordship has summarized eminently well. It
12was precisely the point I was going to make, and I was
13only going to draw your Lordship's attention to the
14authorities given by Gatley.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do you mind before we go to that, just
16remind, because I did not at lunch time take with me the
17Defendants' Summary of Case, to see how exactly they
18summarize their ----
19 MR IRVING:     I am sure Mr Rampton will.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I would rather -- not "rather", that would
21not be right to say at all, but I think it is helpful to
22look at this stage at the written document.
23 MR IRVING:     What I am asking your Lordship to do is to issue a
24ruling to the Defendants on how far their
25cross-examination can go, and what kind of associates or
26associations or what kind of consorting they are entitled

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