Archive for August 2008
Rather topically, this CST report into Antisemitic Discourse 2007 covers many of the issues recently debated in light of the Delich affair. I would recommend page 33 to any anti-Zionist “activists”.
(H/T: Jonathan Hoffman)
Following on from my previous post.
The Duke of Chaos provides some background to the incident noting that
“The 700-strong mailing list of the British Union of Colleges and Universities (UCU, aka Uck-U)is currently permitting a patently one-sided discussion of a boycott of Israeli academics by self-termed “political activists”.
It’s rather good so keep on reading it.
Contrast that with A Very Public Sociologist,
“Personally, I have very little time for the politics peddled on HP. Warmed over social democracy plus humanitarian imperialism plus trenchant Zionism do not suit my radical palate. But they have as much right to push their rubbish politics as any other blogger, regardless of how distasteful they can be at times. So down with the complaints, the writs and the threats of court action, and away with those of censorious intent. If you’re stupid enough to make the kind of mistake Jenna Delich did, then you should take the blowback on the chin, not scrabble around for a lawyer’s letter.“
The discussion in the comments box is very revealing. AVPS showed his considerable principle by vigorously defending his position there and at Socialist Unity blog. He’s fairly unique in that respect, others took a rather tame approach but commendably AVPS didn’t.
Snoopy’s more direct and less apologetic:
“Aside of the current UK law on libel being ridiculous, there is a supreme irony in the way the two lowlifes mentioned above behaved. These two belong to a small but vociferous crowd of “anti-Zionists” that chronically complain about being muzzled by everyone – from the Zionist lobby to the British Royal Post. And look what have they perpetrated. It will be quite difficult for them to revive their favorite strawman now, I am afraid.
The final word goes to Richard Bartholomew:
“First, it was an Uzbek billionaire. Then, it was a Nigerian homeopath. And now…some left-wing activists have followed suit in dealing with on-line criticism in the UK, not by argument, but by making libel threats against a webhost. The result – as before – is that a blog has been taken down without any actual legal action having taken place, such is the fear around British libel laws.”
More later on.
Now that the dust has settled, HP is back, it is time to reflect on the support that Harry’s Place received during their outage. This post is my subjective recollection of things.
Picking through the many messages and posts it becomes apparent that bloggers saw the primacy of the issue: allow a vexatious complaint to bring down one blog and it sets a precedence to bring down others, even their own.
That was the general sentiment, as I saw it.
There was a minority of individuals, Exile is uppermost in these, that whilst loathing Harry’s Place were prepared to give their support through gritted teeth.
A very small group found it very hard to countenance any form of support for Harry’s Place, and what seemed noticeable was that they were oblivious to the possible consequences for themselves, or simply didn’t care. But I don’t want to concentrate too much on these negative headbangers.
Support for HP increased as news filtered through hour by hour. Initially using a simple google search of “harry’s place” “jenna delich” resulted in 21 hits, but the last count it had gone up to some 2100, a hundred fold increase, defeating the purpose of the attack on Harry’s Place.
Rather than shut HP down, it brought these nasty events into focus and heightened awareness of racism on the UCU activist list.
I dispatched a few email to some notable public figures (you know who you are) but didn’t receive any response and looking at their web pages/blogs I suppose they were either on holiday, too busy, oblivious to the issues or couldn’t care less.
So really, support for HP came from the average blogger, not the hotshots, vacant intellectuals or the political sociopaths. I think that HP’s supporter saw the indignity of the attack on HP, for factually reporting events and then suffering a complete loss of service, blacked out from the Internet totally.
People may wonder if this was all a cunning “Zionist” conspiracy (well, certain types of cranks would naturally wonder that, blaming all of the worlds’ problems on “Zionists”, even when the buses are slow, or there’s bad weather, etc). No, it wasn’t.
I emailed David T when I noticed that HP was down, he couldn’t give me all the details and I think that Brett had setup the blogspot archive by then, not 100% sure, I haven’t spoken to them either much on the chronology of events. So that was that. HP was down, now what to do?
The initial events weren’t too clear to anyone, who did what and why, were not precisely known, as far as I can tell. The DNS provider was not terribly forthcoming as to who was the complainant, but that didn’t stop bloggers from blogging.
The blogger’s messages reflect that initial confusion, I suspect some felt that HP was just suffering a hardware problem and didn’t worry too much.
Two particular messages of support stand out in my mind, not only for their ferocity and directness but for their wit.
Darren Red Star scores for blog post title: Nazi loving academics- Fuck off!
He writes “the idiotic nature of the ‘anti- imperialist’ left in its opposition to zionism now means that the racist rantings of neo- nazis are acceptable if they oppose the jewish state.”
Ami Isseroff in Israel:
“The first point is that we seem to have settled the question of whether or not anti-Zionism is or is not the same as anti-Semitism. Delich and her friends can plead and have pleaded that it was an “innocent mistake” and that she didn’t know who David Duke was. Let’s assume that is true. Delich read the article by an anti-Semite at an anti-Semitic Web site and found it to be identical with her views. What does that tell us about anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism? Can anyone really believe they are different now? And this is the ideology that is fueling the boycott Israel movement, isn’t it?
The second point is that if Jenna Delich really didn’t know who David Duke is, and none of the hundreds of people who got that e-mail recognized the name either, then the Boycott Israel movement in the UK is evidently being lead by ignoramuses. Can anyone believe any of the “facts” and arguments they present? Isn’t it logical to assume that this incident reveals what Delich and her Boycott Israel friends have been doing all along: repackaging anti-Semitic lies as “legitimate criticism of Israel” either knowingly, or because they were unaware of the nature of the source of the materials?”
More to follow in the days to come, if I’ve missed out any sharp messages of support, please point me to them.
Andy Newman has written a rather good and simple guide explaining Duke’s racism.
Now that shouldn’t be necessary, Duke’s filthy racism drips out of his very pores and oozes from his web site.
I rarely see eye to eye with Andy, but in this instance he needs your support. The blindness to anti-Jewish racism in that thread is almost criminal, sadly Andy Newman is being attacked for his principled stance:
“I oppose anti-Semitism and the attempts by neo-Nazis to inveigle their way towards respectability by dressing the anti-Semitism up as anti-Zionism.”
Support Andy Newman!
Shortly I shall post on the support that HP received from the blogosphere after being forced off-line, but in the interim please read Brett’s very persuasive post:
“A line must be drawn.It cannot possibly get worse than this. The dissemination of literature from a racist, antisemitic, white-supremacist, conspiracy-theorising website in the name of providing insight and/or commentary on Zionism or the policies of the Israeli government is a low point many refused to believe could be reached – though a few have warned that this is where things were headed for some time.
But, having reached this low-point, we have to ask ourselves if it can be allowed to sink any lower.
If those in British Unions who flirt with the far-right can weasel out of this, then they can weasel out of anything. A line must be drawn here. A line must be drawn now.
If this is acceptable and accepted – indeed, if this is even mere tolerated – then a line is crossed. What could possibly still remain unacceptable? What taboos remain? Violence against Jewish students ‘explained’ by left-wing academics? Desecration of Jewish graveyards celebrated on Indymedia? Would that still shock? And if so, for how long?
What can we imagine that is worse than someone on the anti-Israel Left using neo-Nazi hate polemic as propaganda?
If they can ‘teflon’ it away, then there is nothing they can’t and won’t do. Apologists for antisemitism are ludicrously inventive, but if they can get away with using neo-Nazi material, there is no limit, no boundaries, nothing beyond taste and decency. …”
I am updating a post below on the status of things, when I hear something you will.
If anyone wishes inclusion, please just email me firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: I support HP.
In the future, I hope to do a bigger post (a pick of the posts) on the type of support that HP has received from the blogosphere, many of the posts are funny and very pointed, , far better than my feeble contribution.
What happens to Harry’s Place blog today, could happen to you tomorrow.
1. The original Harry’s Place blog has been forced off-line after a complaint to their DNS provider.
2. The complaint seems to relate to a factually accurate post on how a UCU member posted a link to David Duke’s web site in the UCU activists’ email list.
3. Instead of addressing the issue of why Jenna Delich couldn’t work out the racist nature of David Duke’s web site they attacked the messenger, HP.
If HP’s DNS/ISP can capitulate to this false complaint then when you write an article on your blog the same could happen to you.
So I urge bloggers to support HP and publicise this issue.
And remember when the chips were down HP supported one of their major critics, Craig Murray, because it was the right thing to do. Threats should not be used to close down legitimate blogging.
Think about the implications for your own blog.
I have included updates in this post.
The temporary HP is at http://jennadelich.blogspot.com/