Thursday, December 12, 2002

NO, NO NO... This time it's some Jewish groups trying to use France's free-speech-unfriendly laws to suppress a novel they don't like. (Some Muslim groups tried something similar earlier this fall.) I'm especially dismayed that Americans, working for an organization that is overwhelmingly funded by American Jewry, are considering the suppression of speech overseas, showing little commitment to the values of the First Amendment.* (Yes, I understand that the U.S. Constitution doesn't bind France; my point is that I kind of hope that Americans think the First Amendment is correct, and that they therefore wouldn't promote censorship in other places even in places where they might get away with it.)

*Shimon Samuels, director for international liaison for the
Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, said he and
other Jewish representatives were considering the possibility
of seeking a court order to ban the book, for which no sales
figures were yet available in France.

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