Talking to a brick wall?

November 12, 2007 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

[Imc-uk-features] Re a letter allegedly sent to me which was posted instead to Rizzo’s anti-Semitic PEPA site

freethepeeps at freethepeeps at
Fri Nov 9 03:54:10 PST 2007

Quoting tony greenstein :

Dear Anonymous Moderator of Indymedia,

I note your comment about”It doesn’t help if you think you have the
rightto be rude to Indy volunteers” Presumably you believe that it is polite
that I should read a letter addressed to me on the anti-Semitic list of Mary Rizzo
since you haven’t bothered to actually send me the letter below. However
I’m not interest in the question of etiquette.”

Well, it was sent to you as a cc – I’ve checked my sent email, and the email
that I received from the list, and you are definitely cc’d on both.

What you are saying is that my response to Atzmon’s overtly
anti-Semitic article has been hidden but that you are quite happy to carry his article. Fine. But don’t pretend that that is not a political decision.

Its standard practice not to clog our newswire with complaints about moderation
policy. The reason for using the list is that the complaint about moderation is
more likely to be read by members of the collective on list. Its extremely time
consuming to read every post on the newswire.

If you have actually read the list discussion which I linked to, you will have
noted that several members of the collective are in favour of banning Atzmon.

And if you are going to be honest then you should drop your guidelines. The last time I looked they stated:
Articles and/or comments may be hidden for the following reasons:
Discrimination : posts using language, imagery, or other forms of
communication promoting racism, fascism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia or any other form of discrimination.
It would be more honest if you were to delete this guideline rather than
pretending to something you are unable to achieve.

It appears that in your view you are absolutely right, the article is
indefensible, and I suspect that nothing I say is going to make the blindest
bit of difference. However, I have actually spent a whole load of time trying
to make sense of this, and I haven’t yet managed to achieve any level of
certainty – let alone the absolute certainty that you appear to have.

We are trying to find a way of dealing with claims of anti-semitism that doesn’t
just make any criticism of Israel or zionism impossible. If you want us to
become more capable, then maybe you can assist us by offering us a definitive
definition of anti-semitism.

I have also been looking at some of your writings, and I note that you actually
linked to the Eisen article on CiF. You, who have attacked Atzmon for
circulating that text, chose to circulate it to the entire readership of CiF.

In light of that, why are you in such a hurry to get the Atzmon article off our
server? It is something I am struggling to understand. You have replied to him
in the comments section, so readers can see for themselves that there is a view
of his work which states that it is categorically anti-semitic.

The post is no longer on the front page, and the only people likely to read it
now are people following this discussion, or the one on Peace Palestine or JSF.
The article itself appears on many other sites.

It is clear re ‘knuckles’; that this is Atzmon using an alias. In
much the same way that Atzmon has posted other material in other places using similar aliases such as ‘Yocheved’.

It is clear to you. My point is that your evidence does not support the
contention. ‘knuckles’ denies it, and I have no way of proving or disproving

Yes I have said that the accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’ is used
to defame and intimidate anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians. However it is also the case that on occasion an accusation of anti-Semitism is actually true. I accept that one of the consequences of Zionists labelling their opponents as ‘anti-Semitic’ is, unfortunately, to drain the term
of much of its meaning, but that is no excuse for you to give up on trying to make a clear distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

There is a discussion going on, that has caused quite a major upset in the
collective. That is not ‘giving up’, is it?

You state that “I think that it would be a bad move on our part to
automatically take your side on this matter. It is better in the long run,
for all of us, if the kneejerk response to calls of anti-semitism is replaced
with an informed decision.”At no time have I asked you to take
side in this matter or make an uninformed decision nor to make a “knee
jerk response”. You have after all had two weeks to make a decision, but by your own admission “it isn’t going to be a quick process.” It is clear
that you are incapable of making such a decision since you clearly do not understand anti-Semitism or, more generally, racism even when it stares you in the face.

Thanks for that, You complain that you don’t know who I am, but you are clear
that I don’t understand racism – even when it stares me in the face. I don’t
think its that clear at all, but I have known myself for much longer than you
haven’t known me.

You give 2 reasons for not taking Atzmon’s overtly anti-Semitic
article down.

1. When I cite Atzmon as stating that “Within the Judaic worldview,
history and ethics are often reduced into a banal single binary opposition
principle” you complain that I don’t add his qualification, viz.
that ‘it isn’t just the Israelis who personalise conflicts’. Leaving
aside Atzmon conflation of Jews and Israelis, this is a further example of the problem.
The term I object to is the reference to ‘the Judaic worldview’.
Judaic in my dictionary means relating to Jews or Judaism. It is inherently anti-Semitic
to talk about a Judaic or Jewish worldview and the idea that there is such a
thing as a Jewish or Arab etc. world view is inherently racist. Such expressions were integral to the idea of the world Jewish conspiracy and a common ingredient of writers such as Henrich Class, Houston Chamberlain and Gobineau. Clearly you are incapable of recognising the clearest formulations of racism. Atzmon’s qualifier was therefore meaningless.

Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Greenberg may not agree with you on this one. Whilst some
laud him as a leading Jewish thinker, you say that he is an anti-semite.

As Jews became more modernized, as Jews became more
integrated, some of them began to say that the price was too high. That
realization poses the opportunity which we face today. The reassertion of
Jewish integrity and the right to a coherent Judaic worldview leads to the
argument that there are two legitimate worlds, and that the Jewish world
has independent values of its own. Jewish tradition and claims deserve to be placed side by side with those of the other world. The educational challenge is no longer how one [Jewish] world can reshape itself to be integrated into the other; rather the question is how do the two worlds ‘ standing side by side ‘ correlate, integrate or confront each other? The time has come for a two-way conversation of equals, not a one-way conversation between a dominant and a minor culture.

You might want to contact Targum Shlishi, and demand that they remove his article immediately. Personally, if you are as correct on this one as you think you are, then I find it inexplicable that they haven’t already picked up on it.

Your second example is Atzmon’s statement that “the Jewish state and
the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their
grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago”. You state that there
are “other ways of reading the text’ and suggest that my criticism is
personally motivated. Far from it. Personal abuse is entirely Atzmon’s forte.

Erm, did I say you personally abused him? No! And you’re surely not now going to
deny that you have a beef against the man, nor that you have tried to get him
banned from other groups on other occasions, are you?

Atzmon’s statement, which is in any case false, is made in the context
of what he describes as ‘the real meaning of their Holocaust’. And what is
this ‘real meaning of the Holocaust’? It is the unpopularity of the
Jews who were exterminated. Forgive me, but I thought the Nazi holocaust had something to do with the rise of fascism and its Nazi variant. Perhaps Atzmon’s racist nonsense also holds million Poles and thousands of gays? By the same token they too were all ‘unpopular’ and by the same ‘logic’were also therefore responsible for their own demise.

I’m sorry, but I still don’t read anywhere that Atzmon blames the Jews for their
own demise. Nor do I fully understand what Atzmon means by the “real meaning of their Holocaust” – perhaps he will contribute to the discussion and explain

You ended your article, The real resistance, by noting:

The cynical way that Zionist propagandists and fundraisers use the holocaust is best described by Israeli writer Boaz Evron: holocaust awareness is “an official, propagandistic indoctrination, a churning out of slogans and a false view of the world, the real aim of which is not at all an understanding of the past, but a manipulation of the present

I personally would find it very helpful if you could explain what you think Boaz
Evron meant by that statement.

Clearly your search for consensus is going to be a meaningless activity since you appear to be incapable of understanding the most vile racist statements. In the circumstances it is probably a good thing that you are publicly displaying Atzmon’s article and hiding my response because that at least illustrates where the collective stands on the matter.
Tony Greenstein

I certainly seem incapable of understanding Atzmons text in exactly the same way
that you do. I am still working at understanding what is being said, and until
I do, I am not going to agree that it must be anti-semitic because I am still
not entirely sure what he is saying.

The collective hasn’t yet reached a “stand” on this matter.

The fact that your complaint about our moderation was hidden, doesn’t mean that
you have been banished from Indymnedia, does it? The fact that I’m not doing
other things, because I’m responding to you is a testament to that fact.

This list too is publicly archived, so you now have the opportunity to put your
side of the story in public view.



Entry filed under: freethepeeps, Indymedia, Tony Greenstein.

Greenstein piles up the pressure Rollcall time

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