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 US free speech row grows as author says Jewish complaints st

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Nombre de messages : 8069
Localisation : Washington D.C.
Date d'inscription : 28/05/2005

MessageUS free speech row grows as author says Jewish complaints st,,1892627,00.html

Carmen Callil devait être l'invitée de l'ambassade de France à New York pour la
sortie américaine de son livre sur Darquier de Pellepoix, qui fut commissaire
aux Questions juives sous Vichy. Malheureusement, elle osa dans la postface de
son ouvrage faire une comparaison entre la manière dont les
nationaux-socialistes ont traité certaines personnes durant l'Occupation et la
façon dont les Israéliens agissent avec certaines populations actuellement.



US free speech row grows as author says Jewish complaints stopped launch party

· Row over postscript on Palestinians' plight
· British-born academic claims lectures cancelled

Ed Pilkington in New York
Wednesday October 11, 2006
The Guardian

The British-based author and former publisher Carmen Callil has become embroiled
in a growing dispute over the limits of freedom of speech in America after a
party celebrating her new book on Vichy France was cancelled because of the
opinion she expresses about the modern state of Israel.
A party in honour of Bad Faith, Callil's account of Louis Darquier, the Vichy
official who arranged the deportation of thousands of Jews, was to have taken
place at the French embassy in New York last night but was cancelled after the
embassy became aware of a paragraph in the postscript of the book. In the
postscript Callil says she grew anxious while researching the "helpless terror
of the Jews of France" to see "what the Jews of Israel were passing on to the
Palestinian people. Like the rest of humanity, the Jews of Israel 'forget' the
Palestinians. Everyone forgets."

The embassy said the passage had been brought to its attention after a guest
declined the invitation because of it. A spokesman denied allegations from
Callil, reported by Reuters, that "fundamentalist Jews" had complained and had
the party shut down.

The row over Callil's book is the latest element in a dispute about restrictions
on freedom of speech in the US in relation to comments on Israel.

A British-born academic based at New York University has had two speaking
engagements called off after criticism of his views. Tony Judt, an American Jew
who was brought up in Britain, was due to speak on the subject of the influence
of the pro-Israeli lobby on US foreign policy and at a separate location under
the title War and Genocide in European Memory Today. The first lecture was
cancelled by the Polish consulate in New York, which owned the venue, while Mr
Judt pulled out of the second after he was asked by the organisers to refrain
from direct references to Israel. In both cases pro-Israeli organisations and
individuals had raised objections to Mr Judt's views on Israel.

Mr Judt was one of six people who took part in a debate in New York last month
organised by the London Review of Books on the controversy sparked by its
article on The Israel Lobby. During that debate Mr Judt argued that pro-Israeli
groups acted "to silence debate on the subject", adding that criticism of Israel
had come to be thought of as un-American.

His talk last week on a similar theme at a venue owned by the Polish consulate
was cancelled by the consul, Krzysztof Kasprzyk, after inquiries from two Jewish
organisations. Mr Kasprzyk told the Washington Post that he had been subjected
to "delicate pressure".

Abraham Foxman, director of one of the groups, the Anti-Defamation League,
denied any pressurising. "All we did was to ask the consulate whether Tony Judt
was speaking on its property. The decision to cancel was the Polish consulate's
alone." Mr Judt riposted: "If all Mr Foxman was doing was making an inquiry,
then he does an awful lot of inquiring. People are frequently being scared off."

Mr Judt said his views had been misrepresented. "The only thing I have ever said
is that Israel as it is currently constituted, as a Jewish state with different
rights for different groups, is an anachronism in the modern age of

In the second incident Mr Judt pulled out from a talk on the Holocaust at
Manhattan College after a Jewish leader, Rabbi Avi Weiss, warned he would hold a
protest of Holocaust survivors outside the event. "This speech would have been a
desecration," Rabbi Weiss told the Guardian.

Mr Judt countered that to threaten to stage a protest of survivors was "obscene,
close to pornography".

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