By Babara Mckenzie
On Friday 25 May musician Alison Chabloz was found guilty of sending, by means of a public electronic communication network, a message or other matter that is ‘grossly offensive’, and awaits sentencing – the judge has indicated that a custodial sentence is possible.
In fact, Alison Chabloz has been found guilty of Holocaust denial.
Alison Chabloz makes her living as a singer-songwriter. She is also a Holocaust revisionist. Prior to being banned from twitter in 2016, Chabloz’s frankness on both the Holocaust and the Palestine issue attracted the attention of zionists who not only trolled her on twitter, but were instrumental in a job offer of a singing spot on a cruise ship being withdrawn.
Alison Chabloz lodged a complaint of harassment with the police. She also, in a spirit of defiance against her attackers, wrote three songs satirising the harassers and the Holocaust. In November 2016 she was informed that her complaint of harassment was rejected, and a few days later arrested and charged under the act, on evidence supplied by the very people who were the subject of her own complaint, well-known zionist trollers Stephen Applebaum (@NemoNemo50, @Sicaro72 ) and Stephen Silverman (@BedlamJones). Further background is available from Chabloz’s website, and interviews with e.g. Windows on the World and Richie Allen.
Alison Chabloz’s offence
Alison Chabloz’s conviction relates to the satirical songs in three videos that she uploaded to Youtube: Nemo’s Antisemitic Universe, I Like the Story As It Is, and (((Survivors))).
Nemo is named after one of the trolls who were harassing Alison Chabloz on twitter. Part of the song is dedicated to him, another part to the illegitimacy of the state of Israel – Chabloz sings of a Palestine free from the river to the sea, and ends with, ‘Free Palestine!’.
All three songs refer disparagingly to the Holocaust narrative. Auschwitz, a major grief tourism site, is termed to as a theme park – Chanloz refers to the fact that the gas chamber, initially claimed as genuine, was eventually proved to be a reconstruction. There are mocking references to former traditions, now debunked, that Jewish bodies were used to make soap, and their skins into lampshades.
Chabloz devotes (((Survivors))) to ridiculing three ‘Holocaust survivors’. The authenticity of the accounts of these survivors is no longer accepted: Irene Zisblatt claimed to have escaped from a gas chamber not once but twice; there are whole websites devoted to the flaws in the Elie Wiesel story; Anne Frank’s Diary was written mainly in ballpoint, not invented until after the war. There have been other cases of Holocaust survival fraud, , e.g. Binjamin Wilkomirski, and Herman Rosenblat, whose book Angel at the Fence was withdrawn by its publisher after doubt about its veracity was expressed by scholars, relatives and fellow survivors. Some, like Rosemarie Pence, are not actually Jewish.
Alison Chabloz has made it very clear that she believes that the Holocaust is a hoax and that Israel is an immoral and illegitimate state, that truths about these ‘institutions’ trump the feelings and the self-interest of those who claim to have a special relationship with them, and that fraud, particularly well exposed and agreed fraud, is a legitimate target for satire.
The Trial of Alison Chabloz
Alison Chabloz was charged under the provisions of s.127 (i) of the Communication Act 2003 with sending by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive, or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character or causing such message or matter to be sent. The trial transcript is in a recent newsletter of the Adelaide Institute (pdf, last section).
The case was brought by Gideon Falter, Chairman of the Campaign against Antisemitism and heard by Judge John Zani in the Westminster Magistrates Court. The previous judge associated with the case, Emma Arbuthnot, recused herself after it was revealed that she was a Friend of Israel.
The Judge decreed that : ‘The Court is not obliged to decide whether the Holocaust actually occurred, or whether records maintained in respect thereof are accurate’. What the judge actually meant was that the veracity of the Holocaust was taken as read, and not up for debate. He based his decision on the following assumptions, taken from previous judgements:
- Holocaust denial is the utterance of demonstrably untrue statements of fact.
- The Holocaust is an essential part of Jewish personality and human dignity, i.e. an attack on the Holocaust is an attack on all Jews.
Counsel for the plaintiff was permitted to question Chabloz on her views regarding different aspects of the Holocaust narrative, such as the six million figure and the gas chambers, as they were deemed to be relevant to the case.
In his decision the judge referred to several judgements from countries where Holocaust denial is illegal. In the case of Garaudy v France, the court held that 6 months imprisonment for the applicant, who had written a book disputing the existence of the crimes against humanity committed against the Jews by the Nazis, did not violate the convention of free speech. In Witzsch v Germany, the applicant was convicted in connection with protests about the introduction of Holocaust denial legislation.
The judgement assumed, therefore, the illegality of Holocaust denial, even though this is not formally part of British law.
According to the judge, ‘the relevant test is the standards to be applied of an open and multicultural society’. The judge cites Collins, in the House of Lords:
‘it is not the reactions of the actual listeners to the messages which must be considered, rather the reactions of reasonable members of society’ and
‘if a member of a relevant ethnic minority who heard the messages would have found them grossly offensive, it is not easy to escape the conclusion that the messages would be regarded as grossly offensive by reasonable persons in general, judged by the standards of an open and multi-racial society’.
What Collins meant by ‘a member’ of a minority is unclear, whether he referred to a single one, most, all. If it can be shown that a proven majority of a particularly group would be offended by ridiculing their sacred cows, must these be sacred cows for the majority? If it can be shown or claimed that the majority of Somali immigrants into Britain favour female genital mutilation, should female genital mutilation be legal, sacrosanct and free from criticism?
The judge ruled that:
‘certain historical events affecting members of the Jewish community as well as comments made of certain selected Jewish individuals (the defendant has here focused on Elie Wiesel, Otto Frank and Irene Zisblatt) have been deliberately portrayed in a way that members of an open and multi-cultural society would find particularly insulting, upsetting and disrespectful’.
Alison Chabloz’s offending songs focused on aspects of the Holocaust that are almost universally held to be fraudulent. Fraud that is exposed and in the public domain is almost always seen as an obvious, legitimate and necessary target for British satirists, no matter who is responsible. The judge decreed, however, that members of an open and multi-cultural society would find the satirising of gazetted fraudsters Elie Wiesel, Otto Frank and Irene Zisblatt ‘particularly insulting, upsetting and disrespectful’.
Judge Zani, for reasons which remain obscure, chose to refer to a speech by ‘the respected French writer Albert Camus’ called ‘Create Dangerously’, ‘wherein he underscored the important role of the artist to be prepared to express views and opinions’. The judge then went on to ignore the implications of Camus’ view, and concluded:
‘Put shortly, this Court is entirely satisfied that the material in each of the songs complained of is grossly offensive, as judged by the standards of an open and multi-racial society’
The response of the plaintiff, Gideon Falter, to the judgement was: ‘Essentially this is a ruling on the legality of Holocaust denial and antisemitic conspiracy theories in the UK.’
Thus while there is no British law formally criminalising Holocaust revisionism, such a law is no longer necessary. The judgement of Judge Zani serves as a legal precedent which can be used for suppression of debate about the Holocaust and events of World War II.
Alison Chabloz was not accused of smearing Jewry as a whole, or of attacking individual people or their possessions physically, verbally or in writing, simply because they were Jews.
As a definition of antisemitism the court used (on Falter’s recommendation) the International Definition of Antisemitism, which has been adopted both by the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia and seemingly the British government:
‘a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or towards Jewish community institutions.’
The full definition makes it clear that the ‘institutions’ of the Jewish community include above all the state of Israel (mentioned in six out of eleven examples), the Holocaust, and the exceptionally evil nature of the Nazi regime.
If the British government has indeed adopted the definition, as promised by May in December 2016, then it has formally declared Holocaust denial and certain criticisms of Israel to be hate crimes.
Although British institutions such as the Royal Family and its members can be ruthlessly satirised, and Norwegian institutions such as seal hunting can be openly pilloried, the same does not apply to institutions perceived to be intrinsically Jewish, even when Jews also question or mock them. Jews who do criticise are also deemed to be antisemitic.
Frankie Boyle has made jokes that many people consider outrageous, often attacking institutions like the Royal Family or the Vatican Church, and is often very personal and hurtful. Alison Chabloz scoffing at frauds who exploit the Holocaust narrative is tame in comparison. But while Frankie Boyle may have lost work as a result of his cruel jokes, he still has many thousands of fans, and certainly no-one is putting him in prison – because he is not ‘antisemitic’.
The redefinition of antisemitism as undermining institutions dear to the Zionist lobby is already well established in the British Labour Party. The mention of uncomfortable but indisputable facts about Hitler’s support for Zionism was enough to force Ken Livingstone from the party. Tony Greenstein, Jewish and dedicated to outing ‘antisemites’ such as Gilad Atzmon, likewise a Jew, was himself declared an antisemite because of his criticism of Israel and so lost his party membership.
The word antisemitic is almost never used in its original sense, in parallel with terms like racism. In the majority of cases usage is purely for the purpose of suppressing debate or mention of actual established facts relating to, e.g. WWII, or about Israel. It is very often used by non-Jews to denigrate Jews they disagree with, see for example Ali Abunimah’s’s Disavowal of Gilad Atzmon.
The definition of antisemitism is now everything to do with the primacy of Jewish suffering, exceptionalism, power and corruption, and nothing to do with truth, natural justice or protecting the vulnerable. Use of the word antisemitic is now inevitably and intrinsically linked with denial of truth.
The ontological arguments for the Holocaust.
The ontological argument for the existence of God goes something like this: ‘God is perfect, a God that exists is superior to one that does not exist, therefore God must exist’. God is, therefore, defined into existence.
A similar argument is used to argue for the existence of the Holocaust, or similar: ‘this is the most terrible atrocity, a crime that exists is more terrible than one that doesn’t exist, therefore it exists’.
The same specious reasoning drives inexorably to the indictment of those who question any aspect of the Holocaust, or other alleged atrocity. The bigger the atrocity it seems, the bigger the crime in refuting it: ‘a terrible atrocity has taken place, you are questioning that it took place, you are offending people who are affected by this atrocity (relatives, all decent human beings, me)’. This argument has had very wide application, e.g. to Assad’s alleged atrocities, the Jo Cox murder, or the Florida shootings.
The enormity of the alleged offence is in itself, therefore, sufficient to justify the criminalisation of any doubt. George Galloway precedes his judgement on Holocaust revisionism with a ponderous and uninformative recapitulation of the main points of the Holocaust narrative, which he then proposes as a reason for locking up Holocaust deniers and throwing away the key.
Zani’s judgement normalises the suppression of free speech and dissent
The strategies for suppressing scrutiny of the Holocaust narrative are increasingly applied to other narratives. These strategies include the extensive use of ad hominem instead of proper argument, derision, vilification, discrediting, deplatforming, job loss, and in the case of speaking out about vaccine damage, child theft. Holocaust revisionists, of course, face imprisonment – some adherents of the climate change story believe that ‘climate change denial’ should also be criminalised. Where history is deemed to be ‘settled’ in the case of the Holocaust, the expression ‘the science is settled’ is used to stop questioning of vaccinations and climate change.
To return to the case in hand, Gideon Falter sees the judgement as opening the way to criminalisation of ‘antisemitic conspiracy theories in the UK’. One can only conjecture what he is referring to: linking Mossad to 9/11 is often called an antisemitic conspiracy theory, even by people who criticise Israel. Criticism of George Soros or Jacob Rothschild is often declared to be antisemitic, and assumed to be purely due to their being Jewish rather than being related to their actions. Criticism of bankers as a group is also described as antisemitic, simply because some very prominent bankers are Jews. Or perhaps Falter is referring to the plain-sight conspiracy of global governance – reference to the New World Order may be the next thing to be criminalised.
In setting a legal precedent of criminalising debate over the events of World War II, the conviction of Alison Chabloz for ‘Holocaust denial’ further normalises the suppression of thought, speech and dissent. The future of free speech and dissent in Western democracies could not look more bleak.