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In 1996, Roger Garaudy published his most controversial work, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel, whose contents were translated into English in 2000 by the Institute for Historical Review. Its original French title is Les Mythes fondateurs de la politique israélienne.
Premises of State legitimacy
In his book, Garaudy enumerated many of the premises of the international Jewish claim to rights in Palestine and to the legitimacy of modern state of Israel as "myths," e.g., the "theological myths" of the Bible; the twentieth century "myth of Zionist anti-Fascism" (citing evidence that Zionists actually collaborated with Hitler's regime); the "myth of justice at Nuremberg," the "myth of the six million," and the "myth of the land without a people for a people without a land." These and other myths, as Garaudy's book argues, had been used by world Zionists to disposses the Palestinians of their homeland.
Under France's 1990 Gayssot Law, which prohibits the questioning of the existence of the category of crimes against humanity as defined in the London Charter of 1945, several of Garaudy's assertions, in particular, his claim that the Holocaust was a myth, were deemed to be illegal. Garaudy's trial began in 1996 and he was convicted in 1998. The court ruled that the chapters entitled "The Myth of the Nuremberg Trials and The Myth of the Holocaust" in the first edition, constituted "Holocaust denial" by writing of "the myth of the six million" Jewish victims in Hitler's gas chambers.
French courts banned further publication of Garaudy's book and on February 27, 1998 fined him 240,000 French Francs (about $40,000) and sentenced him to a suspended jail sentence of several years. The decision of the court provoked a debate about freedom of speech in France and Europe and some claimed the verdict was a political one. Garaudy appealed this decision to the European Court of Human Rights, but his appeal was rejected as inadmissible.
- ↑ Roger Garaudy condamné à 120.000 F d'amende - l'Humanite
- ↑ Inadmissibility Decision in the Case of Garaudy v. France, European Court of Human Rights, July 7. 2003.
- ↑ Writer fined for Holocaust writings, BBC News, February 27, 1998.