Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day018.12 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I must judge you by the standards of perhaps not 2000, but the standards at the times when you made the remarks you did make which is usually in the 80s and 90s. MR IRVING: But we have a problem here. I have tried to extract from the witness a definition of his criteria for the anti-Semitism that he accuses me of. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Perfectly proper. MR IRVING: And we have received only waffle, if I may put it like that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, you can say that later, but do not say it now. It is unhelpful. MR IRVING: And I have tried to ask for what specific instances of anti-Semitism he has found in my private diaries which, surely, are the closest to my state of mind, and we have found five words, I think. MR JUSTICE GRAY: He said it has not really been his pigeon. He is here for other matters. You do not have to accept that answer, but it is his evidence. MR IRVING: But the charge is levelled, my Lord, at me by this witness and by the others and it is a charge that people very happily make. I say that the charge of anti- Semitism is the last resort of the scoundrel, very frequently, and it is one that sticks, rather like being called a Holocaust denier. . P-101 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I do not seek to dispute that at this stage, but what we are on at the moment, Mr Irving, is whether you are entitled to adduce effectively in evidence, through the cross-examination of Professor Evans, alleged anti-Semitism on the part of Lord Halifax and Winston Churchill, and I think that is wholly impermissible. MR IRVING: Impermissible, very well. Can I at least then adduce evidence that the First Defendant has published books which contain grossly anti-Semitic passages? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not admit -- why do you say that is relevant? MR IRVING: Biblical passage. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is a sort of pot calling the kettle black. MR IRVING: Casting the mote out of their own eye first and referring it to John Buchan's '39 Steps', for example. I am sure your Lordship is familiar with them. They are the most appalling passages. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are clutching at a bit of a straw there, are you not? When was that published? MR IRVING: Not recently, but John Buchan became Governor General of Canada. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am trying to give you a lot of latitude, Mr Irving. I think I am perhaps beginning to give you too much. I really just do not think you can just start going into alleged anti-Semitism on the part of other people, or . P-102 other companies. MR IRVING: The Defendants in this case have published books which are anti-Semitic in my submission and yet -- I will merely ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let me hear Mr Rampton on that because -- -- MR RAMPTON: My Lord, this is a kind of insanity. I feel as though I was in one of Lewis Caroll's book. Mr Irving brought this action in respect of words published by my clients. The only defence is that what is said is true, amongst them that Mr Irving is an anti-Semitic. What can it matter that there may have been some author from the distant past, the 39 Steps, who also, on some occasion, might have made a remark as an anti-Semite? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I wholly agree about John Buchan in the 1930s, or whenever it was. MR RAMPTON: Suppose my client has published the works of an anti-Semite yesterday. How could it bear upon the question of whether or not Mr Irving is an anti-Semite, save to the extent that I then stood up and said: "Well that Penguin book is not anti-Semitic"? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is right. I am trying to give Mr Irving the benefit of the doubt, but Mr Irving, I cannot let this thing ---- MR IRVING: My Lord, we bought a copy of this book published by Penguin Books two days ago at Books Et Cetera. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If your odds are still on John Buchan, then . P-103 that is really absolutely, if I may say so, hopeless as a point, hopeless. MR IRVING: Should political correctness not have required them to at least excise these horrendous passages from that book? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. Mr Irving, I am afraid we are going to have to move on. I am against you on this. MR IRVING: Are you familiar with the Holocaust, Professor Evans? Are you familiar with the bibliography on Holocaust Denial which has been prepared by a specialist in this matter, New York City University John Drobniski, I think? A. I have to say not very, no. Q. Are you aware that there is such a bibliography? A. Yes. Q. It is a bibliography that is available on the Internet, would you accept that? A. Yes, it is. Q. It has gone through several editions? A. Yes. Q. And this bibliography -- is it called Holocaust Denial Literature -- is a bibliography? A. I think that is true, yes, to my recollection. Q. Is it compiled by John A Drobniski, D-R-O-B-N-I-S-K-I, in conjunction with Carol Goldman and two or three others? A. I think that is right, but I have to say I am not very . P-104 familiar with this bibliography. Q. If I tell you, therefore, that my name does not figure in this entire bibliography as having published a Holocaust Denial work, would this surprise you in the view of the expert report that you have written? Is that a proper question, my Lord? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. A. Well, I did not compile the bibliography. I am not answerable for what they think or they do not think. I reached my own conclusions about this in my report. MR IRVING: You accept that he is Professor John Drobniski, Assistant Professor and Reference Librarian at York College in the City University of New York? A. If you say he is, yes, I accept that. Q. And that his bibliography contains many thousands of entries of books, journals, learned papers and articles? A. Well, I do not really want to speculate about it, but you have yourself said that the Holocaust has always been a rather peripheral element in what you have written yourself, so in a way, it would not be surprising if somebody wanted to draw up a bibliography of works to which Holocaust Denial was central. Q. Yet I am the one who is pilloried in the book by the Second Defendant and published by the first Defendants in this case, and Yehuda Bauer, as we know from the document which is before the court, specifically requested the . P-105 second Defendant to ensure that I was included because I was particularly dangerous? A. Well, it is my impression, having read the second Defendant's book very carefully, that you figure only relatively peripherally in that, too, and it does not devote a great deal of space to you in your work. Q. I think, my Lord, that if we may take the lunch adjournment very shortly, then I will come back this afternoon and we will go as far as your Lordship permits through the bundle of documents which is known to your Lordship as Global. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you want to consider how much you can go into, because I have not looked through bundle E yet, but I am conscious we have not really made a huge amount of progress this morning so far. MR IRVING: Well, I have been stopped in my tracks dead by the delivery last night of these 200 pages of answers. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If that is so, I am not sure that is a complete explanation, but if that is so, well so be it. What are you proposing to do with the rest of bundle E, that is really the point? MR IRVING: To step through it, picking out key documents to indicate and to ask his opinion as to whether this does not indicate that there has been a concerted endeavour to suppress my rights to publish and to write, to research and to lecture. . P-106 MR JUSTICE GRAY: By the one or other of the Defendants? MR IRVING: By one or other of the Defendant and in the light of his own expert knowledge. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not worry about the latter bit. MR RAMPTON: I really do have a reservation about this. It is not my place to make comments about the latitude that your Lordship has so far given, Mr Irving. I have a place, however, to say something if I see the afternoon wasted away with this witness, who is a professional historian, being asked questions about what hand the Defendant might or might not have had in the international Jewish conspiracy to shut Mr Irving up. That is not something that Professor Evans has written about. So, for all I know, he knows nothing about it. If there is one question: "Do you know anything about it"?, and he is allowed to answer it now and he says, "No", then that is the end of the matter. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Leave aside whether it is right for Professor Evans to be asked questions about this because that, I agree, is something that we have to tackle, but just supposing for the sake of argument that it is right, that one of the Defendants has been trying, in some way, to sabotage Mr Irving, it does not matter in what way, can you say that is wholly irrelevant? MR RAMPTON: No, I did not say that. I said that it is not a proper matter for the cross-examination of this witness. . P-107 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You see, I am anxious, and Mr Irving is anxious obviously, that he should not be, as it were, shut out from making this point. I think the best way of dealing with it is to let him make it as a matter of submission by reference to the documents in bundle E. MR RAMPTON: Of course I agree with that. It is only relevant, of course, if we should lose the action. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course, but it is relevant. MR RAMPTON: Just as a matter of hypothesis we did, then it would be relevant quite likely, some way of wounding or something, I do not know. I have not really thought about it. The right thing for him to have done, but he did not do it, was to give evidence about it in-chief and then make submissions about at the end of the case by reference to the document. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I would be inclined to let him give further evidence. MR RAMPTON: I am not going to insist on it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If that is the right way. It can be done as a matter of submission, as far as I am concerned. MR RAMPTON: Equally, as far as I am concerned. MR IRVING: My Lord, the argument against that ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: What do you say about that? MR IRVING: Although I hear what Mr Rampton says about I should have done it as evidence-in-chief, but your Lordship will remember clearly that we were only informed two days ago . P-108 that they were not going to call Professor Levin or Professor Eatwell. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not, if I may say so, an answer to the point that has just been made. You do not know your way around the law, perhaps, as well as some, but the answer is that this evidence all goes to damage and the only person, or broadly speaking the only person who can give evidence about damage, is the Claimant, yourself. MR IRVING: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So it is really a matter for your own evidence. I do not think it is a helpful use of the court's time, or indeed Professor Evans's time, to take him through a whole lot of documents which he would probably not really be able to make much of anyway, when really it is for you to make the points you want to make in your evidence, and Mr Rampton is not contesting your entitlement to add to the evidence you have already given, so I think that is a better way of dealing with it. MR IRVING: Very well. Shall I do that this afternoon then. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You would rather break off now? I am easy about that. MR IRVING: I think it would make it an appropriate place to break off now.
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