The July 19 article in the Vancouver Sun, "B.C. Internet provider is the largest Canadian site for racist material" is alarming. (See URL http://ftp.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi?orgs/american/wiesenthal.center/press for a copy of the article.) It is not the material found on the websites mentioned, nor the fact that the host server is Canadian - nor indeed that the server is physically located in BC - which give cause for alarm. It is alarming because - either by deliberate design or by abject ignorance - Sol Littman (and the Simon Wiesenthal Center [SWC] whom he represents in Canada) is fostering and promoting the spread of the "Ostrich Syndrome." Their actions represent a counter-productive denial of reality - akin to the Ostrich burying its head in the sand. Littman is quoted as saying: "We found the longer you leave these groups unexposed, the longer they fester and the more they infect others and the only way to deal with them honestly and forcefully is to expose them to the light of truth." Yet the article concludes, "Littman said he wants to see if Klatt will remove the groups from Fairview voluntarily before the centre takes any other action." The only truth that seems to emerge from such a veiled threat is that Littman has no understanding of the Internet. One is at a loss to determine how removal of the "groups" from one Internet Provider's server would in any way "expose them to the light of truth." If Littman had any knowledge of the Internet, he would know that the Nizkor Project [http://www.nizkor.org/] is an award winning website that is accessed daily by hundreds. In addition to being a source for those who seek information about the facts of the Holocaust, it is used as an electronic resource for those who wish to "deal with [these groups] honestly and forcefully" thereby exposing Lemire and many others - of whom Littman may not even be aware. Nizkor is arguably the "host" to more hate literature than any other website. Since we also include a link to the Zundelsite amongst others, will Littman next be targetting Nizkor and demanding that we remove such links? Or that we hide from public view the mountains of archived material which meticulously documents and uses the "arguments" put forward by these groups as instruments of their refutation and exposure? If Littman and the SWC prefer to bury their heads in the sand while engaging in this futile exercise in darkness, let them do so. But the martyrdom they hand on a platter to Lemire and others whom they find offensive stands in marked contrast to their failure to use the Internet on their own website. Conspicuously absent on the SWC website are links to the increasingly growing number of useful resources for those who truly do wish to participate in the battle to expose racist and anti-semitic groups on the Internet. The Ostrich syndrome is far more dangerous to society than any white supremacist group on the Internet. Such groups will fester in darkness, but wither in light.
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