‘you stand for defending racism’

November 19, 2007 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

[Imc-uk-features] Anti-Semitism is not the way to support the Palestinians – why Indymedia needs to take a stance

tony greenstein tonygreenstein at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 10 18:08:05 PST 2007

Ftp says ‘I stand for justice for Palestinians. I stand against bullying.’
  No ftp you stand for defending racism. What Mark Elf writes to you is his own concern. At least he does it in his own name. I accept no responsibility for the fact that some people feel angry at your defence of Atzmon. Like the Daily Mail and others of that ilk, who present their racism and attacks on asylum seekers as being a defence of free speech, you portray your defence of Atzmon and now Israel Shamir as one of standing up to bullying, free speech etc.

Racism, by its very nature, targeting people because of some inborn, genetic quality, is a denial of free speech and ultimately the right to life. But like the Melanie Philips of this world you believe the freedom to be a racist is the most important one and that it would be wrong to prevent Gilad Atzmon targeting Jews who support the Palestinians (because they are his major targets).

Ftp is right though to compare the criticisms of Atzmon with those of his and Atzmon’s friend Gilad Atzmon. As Atzmon put it in an e-mail to me, Israel Shamir is ‘a unique and advanced thinker’. Since some people have called for a discussion then maybe one should look at what Shamir actually believes and writes and see if he was indeed, as ftp suggests, another victim of a cruel witch-hunt.

In an article ‘Who needs Holocaust’, in the days when Atzmon was relatively sane Shamir wrote:
‘Gilad reiterated: It was the RAF that repeatedly dismissed the necessity of bombing Auschwitz.
Another go of Zionist propaganda. The camp was an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the US internment centre in Guantanamo). If it were bombed, the internees would die – or as a result of the bombing, or due to starvation for the supplies would not arrive. Indeed, would Gilad advise to bomb Guantanamo? This idea of “bombing Auschwitz” makes sense only if one accepts the vision of “industrial extermination factory”, and it was formed only well after the war.’
http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Who_Needs.htm

There is no doubt that Shamir is a holocaust denier. Auschwitz was ‘an internment facility’ not an ‘industrial extermination factory.’ In fact he is far worse than that. One of the key proponents of the academic boycott, Sue Blackwell, criticised Shamir for his racist views. He responded by posting personal details about her to Martin Webster, someone who was one of the key figures in post-war British fascism and a founder of the National Front.
Israel Shamir, who ftp believes is another victim of the Atzmon style witchhunt, is also explicit in calling for an alliance with the white supremacist right. Ftp is clearly well aware of this. Maybe he defends the following views too?

http://www.israelshamir.net/English/antiSemit.htm
‘For as long as Richard Perle sits in the Pentagon, Elie Wiesel brandishes his Nobel Prize, Mort Zuckerman owns the USA Today, Gusinsky bosses over Russian TV, Soros commands multi-billions of funds and Dershowitz teaches at Harvard, we need the voices of Duke, Sobran, Raimondo, Buchanan, Mahler, Griffin and of other anti-bourgeois nationalists. If we accept their exclusion from discourse, Jewish bigotry will be tolerated while anti-Jewish bigotry is removed. Then, the middle ground for Joe Public will be ‘a little bit of Jewish bigotry’, or ‘Zionism lite’, in the words of my dear friend Bob Green.’

In other words in order to combat Jewish racists we need anti-Semitic racists such as David Duke, the ex KKK leader and Nick Griffin. Problem is that BNP leader Griffin today says he is anti-Muslim and pro-Zionist! And that is exactly where this nonsense of fighting racism with racism leads. As to freedom of speech, maybe ftp should tell that to the victims of Duke’s comrades.

But if ftp is consistent then the Moderators of Indymedia should also invite Israel Shamir to contribute a guest article, and while they are at it, perhaps Mahler of the German NPD and David Duke, to say nothing of Nick Griffin and Pat Buchanan (Nixon’s old chief of staff).
  Mind, Shamir is also on record as defending Avigdor Liebermann, Israel’s deputy Prime Minister, leader of the openly transfer party, Yisrael Beitenu because he is a Russian! Maybe ftp would like to invite Liebermann to also contribute an opinion piece to Indymedia (which normally excludes opinion pieces but since it has opened its pages to Atzmon why not other racists too?).

Shamir writes: ‘Even less substantiated is Makdisi’s weird claim that YB is a “racist party” and for them, “non-Jews are not welcome”. As a matter of fact, the YB is the least Jewish nationalist party in the Knesset outside the Arab block, as it is the party of the Russian, heavily non-Jewish community in Israel. ‘
http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Oops.htm

Clearly ftp is well aware of the background to Atzmon and his politics. He has also clearly read his articles which, for some strange reason, target Jewish anti-Zionists and cite Zionists like Ber Borochov to justify his views of Jews who don’t live in Israel. To be blunt he is not only anti-Semitic but a Zionist too.

But ftp saysIt worries the shit out of me that Indymedia might just give them their first taste of blood in this new kill.’ as if Atzmon is a fox being run to ground. Racists are in the habit of presenting themselves as the victims. The right-wing press does that all the time and that is what ftp is doing on Indymedia and it would appear that his fellow moderators are happy to go along with this. The question I would ask is why not scrap the guidelines re discrimination? They are clearly observed now in the breach and one person, who has formed links with racists, is prepared to use a ‘block’ to keep it that way. Ftp has got into bed with racists and the question is whether his fellow moderators are happy to allow Indymedia to be run by someone with sympathies if not worse with racists? There was a time when those with radical inclinations fought racism, not worried about if racists were excluded. It’s not as if they don’t have enough media outlets in the world.
In defence of the accusation that Atzmon is more concerned with his own ego than the Palestinians, ftp says of me that:

‘He castigates Atzmon for not backing the boycott. And it wasn’t long ago that we had Indymedia’s resident zionist, gehrig calling us anti-semitic because we carried articles supporting the boycott. The boycott according to gehrig is anti-semitic because it affects Jews disproportionally. Not Israelis mind, Jews.’

Precisely. It is true that Zionists accuse supporters of the Boycott of Israel of being anti-Semitic. What more idiotic way can there be of meeting this accusation than to adopt genuinely anti-Semitic beliefs as one’s own? Of course Zionists label supporters of the Palestinians as anti-Semitic. It is an accusation that has little credence today, certainly in my own trade union UNISON, which at its last conference supported the boycott. But Atzmon is determined to prove Zionists like gehrig right by demonstrating that being a supporter of the Palestinians means being anti-Semitic. And then Atzmon ‘proves’ he’s not an anti-Semite by opposing the boycott!! Well that is where anti-Semitism leads. To support for Zionism.

I shall repeat my proposal again. If Atzmon, contrary to the usual norms, is allowed to post an opinion piece on Indymedia, why have I been refused the same rights? Or is it the position that the rights of racists are superior to those of anti-racists?

Tony Greenstein

_______________________________________________________
Response:

you portray your defence of Atzmon and now Israel Shamir as one of standing up to bullying, free speech etc.

I don’t recall defending Shamir. I recall saying I met him before his banishment.  I don’t think I’ve even touched on what he says.

Racism, by its very nature, targeting people because of some inborn, genetic quality, is a denial of free speech and ultimately the right to life. 

Yes, thats what I think racism is too. I don’t see that in the article.  It all seems to be smoke and mirrors with Mr. Greenstein

But like the Melanie Philips of this world you believe the freedom to be a racist is the most important one and that it would be wrong to prevent Gilad Atzmon targeting Jews who support the Palestinians (because they are his major targets).

He isn’t targetting an inborn, genetic quality though, he’s targetting a behaviour, which he says can be changed. Me and Melanie in the same line, never thought I’d see the day….

Greenstein, having introduced the strawman that I defend Shamir’s views, goes on to quote Shamir. Its outside of my remit – but I don’t think he understands what Shamir means in the second quote – shutting down one extreme, whilst leaving the other to sprout its extremities ad naseum does skew the debate. I am not responsible for Atzmon’s thoughts, and Atzmon is not responsible for Shamir’s thoughts. I am against guilt by association.

But if ftp is consistent then the Moderators of Indymedia should also invite Israel Shamir to contribute a guest article, and while they are at it, perhaps Mahler of the German NPD and David Duke, to say nothing of Nick Griffin and Pat Buchanan (Nixon’s old chief of staff).

Another misunderstanding of the open publishing concept then. Nobody invited Atzmon to post, and Atzmon didn’t post the article. Nobody invites any individual to post – but anyone is free to post. The mods then have to deal with posts which breach guidelines. When there is disagreement about whether a post breaches the guidelines, then they have to use consensus decision making to sort it out.

I shall repeat my proposal again. If Atzmon, contrary to the usual norms, is allowed to post an opinion piece on Indymedia, why have I been refused the same rights? Or is it the position that the rights of racists are superior to those of anti-racists?

I’ll say it again. Nobody prevents Greenstein from posting an opinion piece. However if it breaches the guidelines, it is liable to hiding. The hidden Greensteins were complaints about moderation, not news or critical analysis for the newswire.

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Entry filed under: freethepeeps, Gilad Atzmon, Indymedia, Tony Greenstein.

A letter from America Lets smear it for the boys now

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