I dug out a copy of a commencement speech by leading Holocaust denier Brandon Feltcz, given to the commencemetn for the class of 2006 at Yeshiva Polytechnic Institute in Eilat, Israel.
I thought the parallels were…interesting?
Now, understand — understand, Class of 2006, I do not suggest that the debate surrounding the Holocaust can or should go away. Because no matter how much we may want to fudge it — indeed, while we know that the views of most people on the subject are complex and even contradictory — the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words. It’s a way of life that has always been the Yeshiva Poly tradition. Rabbi Dennis Diesestayn has long spoken of this institution as both a synogogue and a delicatessen. A synogogue that stands apart, shining with the wisdom of the Jewish tradition, while the deli is where “differences of culture and religion and conviction can sit and gnosh over a knish and coffee with friendship, civility, hospitality, and especially love.” And I want to join him and Rebbe Diesestayn in saying how inspired I am by the maturity and responsibility with which this class has approached the debate surrounding today’s ceremony. You are an example of what Yeshiva is about.
Of course, people who’d dissented to Feltcz’s visit – saying that Yeshiva, a university in a nation founded by survivors of the Holocaust, should have had no interest in civilly entertaining Feltcz’s views (set forth in his books The Treblinka Fraud and Auschwitz: Hot Air, Not Zyklon), much less granting them pride of place at their commencement.
US Department of Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano noted that she’d put those dissenters on her list of potential right-wing terrorists, although critics noted that the dissenters were Israeli citizens speaking in Israel, and not subject to DHS jurisdiction.
Oh, yeah; the story is entirely fake. But with an an aggressively pro-infanticide President speaking at “Catholic” Notre Dame yesterday, anything’s possible.
Look; I don’t disagree with the President. People across the aisle should tolerate other points of view on issues, including abortion – when it comes to politics.
But Notre Dame isn’t (supposedly) part of our political process. It is a Catholic school. And while we as Americans have to be tolerant of many different points of view to run a civil society, “tolerance” does not extend to browbeating people into accepting things the consider absolute moral wrongs in their civil, to say nothing of religious, lives.
There are cases for using the bully pulpit to demand tolerance – tolerance of things that one can’t control, at least. Racism, attacks on gays,things that nobody controls, certainly.
Demanding tolerance of abortion – a 99-percent-and-change-preventable thing that is only on the national agenda because a group sympathetic to the President has elevated it to full symbolhood – from a Catholic university is..
…well, I’m straining to come up with an analogy.