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Candidate unaware he addressed deniers

Mike Gravel, a Democratic candidate for president, said he did not realize he was addressing Holocaust deniers at a 2003 event.Gravel, a former U.S. senator from Alaska, is considered a long shot for his party’s nomination, but his outspoken opposition to the Iraq war during last week’s debate of Democratic candidates earned him plaudits and attention.He spoke this week to the Greater Washington Jewish Community Relations Council, the first candidate of either party to address its Presidential Forum. Gravel said that in 2003, he “didn’t know who I was speaking to” when he addressed a joint conference of The Barnes Review and the American Free Press, both Holocaust deniers, the Washington Jewish Week reported.Invited to address the denial groups again last year, Gravel said he told an organizer “you’re nutty as a loon” and declined. Gravel said as president he would urge U.S. Jews not just to contribute to Israel but to encourage Israeli moderates to make peace.