School principal fired for saying ‘I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual event’ | Florida | The Guardian


A high school principal in Florida has been fired after telling a student’s parent “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened”.

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‘We were indifferent to the horror’: Nazi camp inmate to give testimony at trial

The Palm Beach county school board voted 5-2 to fire William Latson on the grounds of “ethical misconduct” and “failure to carry out job responsibilities”.

Latson, former principal of Spanish River high school in Boca Raton, was fired because he could not be contacted when “all hell broke loose” after his statement went public, sparking national outrage. Latson was on a previously scheduled vacation in Jamaica when the media learned of his comments in July, reported the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The controversy stemmed from an email exchange with a parent in 2018. A parent sent Latson an email asking how students are taught about the Holocaust, and asking if Holocaust education will be made a priority.

“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” Latson wrote, according to email records obtained by the Palm Beach Post. “And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”

He wrote: “I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a district employee.”

Latson said he had to maintain a “politically neutral” position on the genocide, during which Nazis killed 6 million Jews, so he would be sensitive to Holocaust education proponents and Holocaust deniers.

Latson explained his efforts to implement lessons on the Holocaust, but said some families opposed it.

He wrote: “I work to expose students to certain things but not all parents want their students exposed so they will not be, and I can’t force that issue.”

More than 10,000 Holocaust survivors are estimated to live in three area counties, the second largest cluster after New York, the newspaper said.

In 1994, Florida lawmakers voted for the Holocaust Education Bill, which requires that all state school school districts teach students about the Holocaust as part of their public school education. The law applies to primary, intermediate and high schools.

Latson’s lawyer, Thomas Elfers, told the school board: “These are the facts. He is not antisemitic. He believes the Holocaust is factual.”

Elfers also said Latson was being punished for a “poorly worded email”.

A handful of school staffers and parents supported Latson at the vote, with one teacher saying there’s “zero evidence showing wrongdoing” and that “this is a textbook example of a witch-hunt”.

 

Source: School principal fired for saying ‘I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual event’ | Florida | The Guardian

If Germany atoned for the Holocaust, the US can pay reparations for slavery


The idea of paying reparations for slavery is gaining momentum in the United States, despite being long derided as an unrealistic plan, to compensate for state violence committed by and against people long dead.

The topic saw substantive debate in the July 30 Democratic primary debate, with candidate Marianne Williamson calling slavery “a debt that is owed.” Some Democratic congressional representatives are also pushing for financial recompense for the descendants of enslaved people.

Calls for reparations in the U.S. are generally met with skepticism: What would reparations achieve? Who should receive them, and under what conditions?

Other countries have tackled these questions. In 1995, South Africa established its Truth and Reconciliation Commission and paid reparations to the victims of apartheid. Eight years before, the United States apologized to 82,000 Japanese Americans unduly imprisoned during World War II and paid them US$20,000 each to compensate for their suffering.

Even Germany, birthplace of the worst racism ever institutionalized and elevated to official policy, has some lessons for the United States as it considers reparations.

Compensating victims of Nazi enslavement

I am a professor of political science who studies the relationship between democracy, citizenship and justice. My recent work on Germany examines how the country dealt with the horrors of the Holocaust.

Nazi Germany not only killed millions of Jews between 1933 and 1945. It also forced over 20 million people into slave labor, working them to their death in German industries. By 1944, a quarter of the German workforce was enslaved laborers.

 

Source: If Germany atoned for the Holocaust, the US can pay reparations for slavery

If Germany atoned for the Holocaust, the US can pay reparations for slavery : The Conversation


The idea of paying reparations for slavery is gaining momentum in the United States, despite being long derided as an unrealistic plan, to compensate for state violence committed by and against people long dead.

The topic saw substantive debate in the July 30 Democratic primary debate, with candidate Marianne Williamson calling slavery “a debt that is owed.” Some Democratic congressional representatives are also pushing for financial recompense for the descendants of enslaved people.

Calls for reparations in the U.S. are generally met with skepticism: What would reparations achieve? Who should receive them, and under what conditions?

Other countries have tackled these questions. In 1995, South Africa established its Truth and Reconciliation Commission and paid reparations to the victims of apartheid. Eight years before, the United States apologized to 82,000 Japanese Americans unduly imprisoned during World War II and paid them US$20,000 each to compensate for their suffering.

Even Germany, birthplace of the worst racism ever institutionalized and elevated to official policy, has some lessons for the United States as it considers reparations.

Compensating victims of Nazi enslavement

I am a professor of political science who studies the relationship between democracy, citizenship and justice. My recent work on Germany examines how the country dealt with the horrors of the Holocaust.

Nazi Germany not only killed millions of Jews between 1933 and 1945. It also forced over 20 million people into slave labor, working them to their death in German industries. By 1944, a quarter of the German workforce was enslaved laborers.

 

Source: If Germany atoned for the Holocaust, the US can pay reparations for slavery : The Conversation

The American Court Ruling against Holocaust Denial


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In my article on Saturday reviewing the book Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review, edited by Israel W. Charny (London: Mansell Publishing 1991) I mentioned that amongst its contents, the chapter on Holocaust Denial has a passage describing how a Neo-Nazi rag in America was successfully sued over the issue of the existence of the Holocaust. The rag stated it never happened, and challenged people to prove that it had. One man did, and when the magazine refused to pay out the sum it had promised to pay, took them to court. The judge ruled in his favour, and stated that it was more than adequately demonstrated that the Shoah was historical fact. Here’s the passage:

Verdict of an American Judge on the Offer to pay $50,000 for Proof that the Nazis Gassed Jews

In the United States, the Institute for Historical Review offered to pay fifty thousand dollars to…

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More Military Tension between NATO and Russia; Pat Mills Right in ABC Warriors


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Mike today put up a very chilling report about the escalation of military tensions between NATO and Russia. Russia has deployed Iskander missiles in its westernmost province of Kaliningrad. Formerly Koenigsberg, this is small Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania, was formerly part of Pommerania under the old Reich. The missiles are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, and are presumed capable of reaching Berlin, or the various Baltic states.

Russia is believed to be deploying these missiles in response to NATO manoeuvres in eastern Europe, and the stationing of four more NATO battalions in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. These were in response to Russia sending troops into Ukraine.

Mike states that he recalls either Gorbachev or possibly Yeltsin receiving a promise from NATO that it would not expand into the Russian’s back garden. He is correct. That promise was given. And broken. NATO’s borders are now right up to…

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Secular Talk on Poor Americans Now Using Pet Antibiotics


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This is a story from another side of the Pond, but it’s relevant because it shows the kind of horrific medical system that the Blairites and the Tories are introducing over here through the destruction of the NHS. In this piece from the atheist/ secularist news channel, Secular Talk, Kyle Kulinski comments on a story in Raw Story from a report from a respected medical journal, The Journal of Antibiotics. A survey was done of 400 people in Houston, Texas, asking them how they obtained their antibiotics. These were people, who needed the drug, not those who did not. Kulinski is very clear to dispel this possible misunderstanding, as the overprescription of antibiotics is a separate issue. It’s responsible for the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which is a serious threat to health around the world.

This is about people, who genuinely need the drug. It investigated how people…

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The Break-Up of American Zionism and the Anti-Semitism Allegations


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I’m aware that I’m in serious risk of doing this subject to death, but this needs to be said. I’ve put up several blogs featuring the videos of talks and interviews given by Israeli and American Jewish activists and historians – Ilan Pappe, Elizabeth Baltzer and Norman Finkelstein, laying bare the terrible history of Israel’s persecution and systematic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population. As I’ve repeatedly said, this is because of the smears against leading figures in the Labour party that they are anti-Semites, when they are nothing of the sort, and demonstrably nothing of the sort. Ken Leninspart, when he was leader of the GLC, was notorious and reviled for his anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia stance. And if you want to read what he has to say about anti-Semitism, it’s written down in his book, Livingstone’s Labour. He decries it as one of the worst forms of…

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Norman Finkelstein on the Coming Break-Up of American Zionism: Part 3


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Another audience member asks why it is that so many Palestinians survived in Israel, when the Israeli government was trying to cleans them. Finkelstein replies that in some areas, like Hebron, the Arab population survived because the Israelis needed them as workers. Galilee was mostly Christian, and the Arabs survived there because the Israelis were scared of offending the Vatican. And incidentally, their survival is further evidence that the cleansing of the Palestinians was not accidental, but was planned, as it wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. And some Palestinians survived by accident and sheer good fortune, like the Jews who survived the Holocaust.

Finkelstein also tackles the Holocaust industry, in response to another question from the audience. He is particularly incensed by this, as the descendant of Holocaust survivors himself. His father survived Auschwitz, while his mother survived that horrors of a succession of concentration and force labour camps. He makes…

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Norman Finkelstein on the Coming Break-Up of American Zionism: Part 1


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I’ve put up several videos recently criticising Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and examining the growing disconnection – ‘distancing’, in the jargon of the sociologists who’ve studied it – of young American Jews with Israel. The speakers in these videos have included the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, and the American historians and activists Norman Finkelstein and Elizabeth Baltzer, both of whom are descended from Holocaust survivors. As I’ve made clear in previous posts, I’ve been prompted to do this because of the smears against leading members of the Labour party – Ken Livingstone, Naz Shah and Jackie Walker, amongst others, of anti-Semitism. Those accused are not to my knowledge anti-Semites. The above three certainly aren’t. Leninspart in his 1987 book, Livingstone’s Labour, states quite clearly that all forms of racism, whether against Blacks, Jews or the Irish, is the worst form of reaction, and needs to be opposed. Naz…

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Norman Finkelstein on the Coming Break-Up of American Zionism: Part 2


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What changed Jewish attitudes to Israel was the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The Americans saw Israel very much as a kind of outpost of American interests in the Middle East, and identified its people with great American heroes like Davey Crockett, and the struggle of the Texans for independence from Mexico. There was an equivalence between Israel’s soldiers and the heroes of the Alamo. The Israelis were invested with all the heroic values Americans believed characterised themselves, and from it being unpatriotic to support the Israelis, it became the reverse. It was super-patriotic to support them.

Crucial to this was the Israeli claim to have practised ‘purity of arms’. Unlike Vietnam, where the Americans were losing and committing terrible atrocities, the Israelis were winning without committing massacres and other breaches of human rights. This record has gradually darkened as the wars between Israel and its Arab neighbours continued. The classic case…

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