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The Irish right - Kevin Myers

  Selected articles

The 2017 controversy

People attacking and defending Myers

Other things


Kevin Myers

For decades, Kevin Myers has been: (a) one of the main critics of the IRA and Sinn Fein in Ireland, and: (b) one of the main defenders of Israel in Ireland. Unlike much of Ireland, he is pro-American, pro-British and pro-Israel. I like a lot of his work and link to him.

A ludicrous manufactured hysteria arose in 2017, when he got unfairly branded internationally as an "anti-semite" and a "Holocaust denier". The whole controversy is based on nonsense.


Selected articles

Kevin Myers has for decades been writing excellent columns about Israel, anti-semitism, WW2, the Nazis and the Holocaust.

Read the following if you were dumb enough to buy into the 2017 anti-Myers hysteria.


Excellent Kevin Myers column on the Holocaust.
Irish Times, 15 Apr 2005.

Excellent Kevin Myers column on the modern European anti-semitism directed against Israel.
Irish Times, 14 June 2005.
(Though I must say I have no problem with Israel's targeted killings.)

Excellent Kevin Myers column on the IRA's support for the Nazis.
Irish Independent, 10 July 2009.

Excellent Kevin Myers column on Israel.
Irish Independent, 20 Aug 2010.

Excellent Kevin Myers column on Israel.
Irish Independent, 8 May 2012.


The 2017 controversy

The July-Aug 2017 controversy. Myers gets absurdly and unfairly branded internationally as an "anti-semite" and a "Holocaust denier". This was on the basis of two articles that are crude and poorly written, but do not support the charges:

  1. "Sorry, ladies - equal pay has to be earned", Sunday Times (Irish edition), 30 July 2017. (And search for text.)
    • Myers was accused of anti-semitism over this article. After discussing the pay of BBC presenters, he mentioned two female presenters who are Jewish, and said: "Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price".
    • I think this is meant to be a clumsy compliment to Jews. But non-Jews should be very cautious about saying such things. Such stereotypes can be easily seen as insults. That is clearly not how Myers means it. Poor writing, but the hysteria is based on misunderstanding. The idea that this lifelong Israel-supporter is a secret anti-semite is obviously nonsense.
    • Note that he actually insulted the two female presenters before his clumsy compliment. (By sneering: "with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted".) So it is his own fault that they read it as a further insult.

  2. "I'm a holocaust denier", Irish Independent, 4 March 2009. (And search for text.)
    • This article is misunderstood. Myers is not a Holocaust denier. The article is a clumsy attempt to say one should not criminalise people who deny the Holocaust. He points out that you can dispute 6 million dead, because 6 million is only an estimate and it could be more or less (all modern estimates seem to be between 5 and 6.5 million).
    • Note that Myers says the Holocaust was "one of the most satanic operations in world history, in which millions of Jews were murdered." It's poor writing, an offensive way to make a good point about free speech. The point could have been made in a much nicer way. But, poor writing or not, he is not a Holocaust denier. That is nonsense.

    • He wrote a better followup article, Irish Independent, 1 Apr 2009. (And search for text.) He makes the point about free speech more clearly here. He points out the difficulty of defining a Holocaust denial law precisely. What exactly can you not say? It is a good point, but made in an unnecessarily offensive way. Anyway, he is clearly not a Holocaust denier.
    • He also wrote a previous terrible article in the Irish Times, 22 Feb 2006. (And search for text.) This opposes the jailing of David Irving for Holocaust denial. Again he uses shock, offensive language: "David Irving was right. There was no holocaust." However, the article itself goes on to show that the Holocaust happened and Irving is a Holocaust denier and Myers is not. So why start with such offensive wordplay?
    • I agree with Myers on free speech in the previous article: "Anyone has a right to have wrong opinions ... Anyone should be able to declare that the Nazis didn't massacre Jews, or that no Armenians were murdered in 1915, or that Dresden was a legitimate target, or that it was right to bomb Hiroshima, or that Jesus was not the son of God or that Muhammad was not a prophet, without going to jail ... being able to be wrong is the very definition of freedom".

Conclusion: The whole controversy is based on nonsense. The two articles are:

  1. A creepy philo-semitic stereotype meant as a compliment. Not a hostile anti-semitic stereotype meant as an insult. Big difference.
  2. Clever (stupid) word play to make a point defending free speech.


Income by religious grouping in the U.S. in 2001.
Jews statistically do better in the economy than other groups.
From here. This is just about the first graph you see if you Google for wealth and religion.
So how should one comment on this?
  1. The clever person would ignore this graph, and pretend it says nothing about anything.
  2. The anti-semite would react to this by criticising Jews for some imagined crimes that helped them advance.
  3. The philo-semite would react by saying that, statistically, Judaism promotes good ideas to do with education, hard work and enterprise, and other religions could learn from Judaism.
Basically, Myers is no.3, but he was read as no.2.
He wrote a compliment that looked like an insult, and it followed an actual insult (about their work). So he has only himself to blame.


People attacking and defending Myers

In the 2017 controversy, the following people mostly attacked Myers:
  1. Anti-Israel people. Of course they hate Myers. They are thrilled by his downfall. It is a big win for their side.
  2. Pro-Israel non-Irish people. They never heard of Myers. They never read him before this. Of course they read him wrong. They don't know him.
And the following people mostly defended Myers:
  1. Pro-Israel Irish people. They know Myers, and while they may not agree with his vast number of opinions on every possible topic, they know he is not an "anti-semite" or a "Holocaust denier".
There are exceptions to the above, but that is the general pattern.

Other things



After 2 years, Kevin Myers won his case against RTE for defamation in Nov 2019. RTE had to apologise and pay compensation. Let's hope some of the other libellers have to pay up too.

Wikipedia for a time after the 2017 controversy comically listed Myers under "Holocaust deniers".
This has now been corrected.

Graham Linehan in 2017 says Kevin Myers is a "Holocaust denier".
As at 2019 this tweet is still up.
Hopefully Myers can take some money from this guy.


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