5 February 2012

Angry Arab asks: Is Atzmon a Sincere Anti-Semite or an Infiltrator?

The Angry Arab Interviewed by Asa Winstanley

A very interesting interview with the Angry Arab by Asa Winstanley, whose articles on the Zionist Community Security Trust I have already covered.

I share his impatience at the feeble response of Palestinians who have no answer to the question ‘does Israel have the right to exist.’ The PLO after Oslo recognised that Israel did have a right to exist and a fat lot of good that did them. Having garnered that particular surrender, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Zionists now demand recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, i.e. the rightfulness of their own dispossession and expulsion. But to Abbas and co., fawning over Israeli and US leaders has become an art form. Nonetheless I disagree with As'ad Abukhalil, the Anry Arab.

Firstly, just as a matter of fact, Israel does exist. The question is whether the Israeli state should exist.

Secondly, no state has a right to exist. It is an absurd proposition. Does the British monarchical state have a ‘right to exist’? And is a state human? Does it breathe, sing, walk? No a state is, ultimately, a body of armed men (& women) in Marx’s definition. The real question is, should a racist and apartheid state continue to exist? And to that I say an unequivocal no.
Angry Arab says that ‘Since Oslo there is a trend in the pro-Palestinian community, particularly those with links to the PLO, to make the case for Palestine palatable with a case for Zionism’.

In fact it is worse than that. Saeeb Erekrat and the rest of the Palestinian negotiators have accepted the case of Zionism with their offers of a ‘bigger Yerushalayim.’ It is the first time that the leadership of an oppressed people have offered to sell the mess of potage that is their birthright.

Nor do I t agree that BDS is an extension of the Arab Boycott. The Arab Boycott came to an end with Oslo. The fact that the PLO agreed to relinquish the boycott and to recognise without preconditions Israel, without even obtaining an acceptance of a Palestinian state, speaks volumes about the Palestinian leadership. Oslo was, as I warned at the time, a severe defeat and disaster in the making. I hate to have been proved correct.

I can remember attending a UN NGO conference in Geneva about 1988, with Uri Davies and others from Return. There were all these ‘peacemakers’ there – 2 statists and conflict resolutionists – all vying for a piece of the cake. Zionism? Oh that was old hat. All that was necessary was to find a form of words that would be acceptable to all and hey presto the lamb and the lion would lie down with each other of course it didn’t and couldn’t last.

BDS is a grassroots thing. The economic boycott was top down and the reaction of an Arab elite to their humiliation In practice the Arab ruling class opposed Israel in rhetoric whilst meeting privately to secure each their own interests. When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, the Saudi regime supported it unofficially as they also supported the Phalange. The collaboration of the Hashemites was legendary.

The real problem of BDS, which is quite unique since it focuses on companies that trade with Israel in their heartland and is part and parcel of an active political campaign, is that the solidarity movement is relatively strong. It is the Palestinians who are so weak. Contrast with the struggle in South Africa where BDS complemented the ANC’s own fight. In this case there is no fight on the official level and it is now an entirely grassroots struggle. A good thing of course but Israel has almost unlimited power to do what it does.

I understand what AA says on the personal and emotional level. My father would never go to Germany while he was alive and didn’t want any contact with Germans. But this is uncommon today among Jews. And such a reaction blamed all Germans regardless of their age or culpability. But I reject the suggestion that it is a form of racism.

If there is going to be any solution then clearly there has to be some form of rapprochment with Israelis and that means Israelis who have served in the IOF. The fact that Pappe has served is irrelevant to whether or not he has made a major contribution to the struggle for the right of return and much else. Israel is a state where it is compulsory for Jews to serve. Many don’t now but it is largely irrelevant, unless someone becomes a war criminal in so doing. It’s not ‘super BDS’ but a distraction from BDS.

Angry Arab does however make his anti-racist credentials extremely clear. Almost alone amongst prominent Arabs (Joseph Massad has refused to even respond to calls to declare his position, despite the article he wrote
in Al Ahram in 2004 saying how anti-Semitism was a danger to the Palestinians, when his tenure was under threat) AA is very clear as to what thinks about Atzmon and anti-Semitism.
I have refused any contact with this guy and, you know me: I’m strict about many things… and one of them is refusing any association with anybody who has the slightest tinge of anti-Semitism. And he has more than a tinge of anti-Semitism… Call me paranoid... I know there are genuine anti-Semites who creep into our movement, but I do worry that there are some infiltrators who pose as anti-Semites to stigmatise the movement. I’m not sure which group he belongs to, but either way I don’t want him [around].’
Angry Arab has also put his finger on whether Atzmon is actually sincere in his anti-Semitism or an infiltrator who has been pointing the finger at others to avoid having to answer a few questions himself.

Tony Greenstein

Palestine is Still the Issue

In an in-depth and candid interview, academic and political commentator As'ad Abukhalil - a.k.a "The Angry Arab" - talks to Ceasefire columnist Asa Winstanley about Zionism, Hamas, Syria, Al Jazeera, BDS and much more.

By Asa Winstanley

Originally from Lebanon, As’ad AbuKhalil is professor of political science at California State University, a well known commentator on Arabic TV stations such as Al-Jazeera, and runs a popular blog, which he writes in English, called The Angry Arab News Service.

He is known for his radical leftist political stances and, in particular, his emphatic support for the Palestinian struggle. However, he has recently received criticism from readers and former fans for his stance on Syria (he is against both the Assad regime and the opposition’s Syrian National Council).

In January, AbuKhalil was in the UK for a speaking tour of university Palestine societies titled “The Case Against Israel”. The day before his first talk at Goldsmiths University, I sat down with the professor in an Edgware Road cafe to discuss his thoughts on the Palestine solidarity movement, the historical significance of the boycott divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, the uprising in Syria, as well as other regional developments. I started off by asking him about his speaking tour.

As`ad AbuKhalil: I am going around to speak on making the case against Israel. I’m not going to be making any qualifications, or any disclaimers. I think I am of a generation who have seen too many Arab intellectuals, particularly in the United States, who used to get awkward and nervous whenever, after giving a long talk about the Palestinians, they are faced with a Zionist in the audience who would ask them: “But do you accept the existence of Israel?” And I’ve seen so many famous names dance around that question… I have become influenced by it in a way to be very categorical about it. When I started speaking publicly about Palestine in the United States, in the first few cases I was confronted by these same people who would stand up and say “But do you recognise the state of Israel?” And to that I would answer “Of course I wouldn’t!”

Asa Winstanley: So they don’t bother now?

AA: That never comes [up] anymore! And I felt like: that was so easy, why didn’t they all do that before? Since Oslo there is a trend in the pro-Palestinian community, particularly those with links to the PLO, to make the case for Palestine palatable with a case for Zionism. And that’s why I am here to oppose it.

AW: Why do you think Israel seems to be so sensitive to the boycott divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement?

AA: Since I left Lebanon in 1983, I have seen an erosion in the standing of Israel, especially in the eyes of Western liberals. When I left, these were the hardcore supporters… Public opinion in Europe has markedly changed over the last few decades. So much so that in almost all countries, even Germany, there is more support for Palestinians than for Israelis.

In Russia, after the rise of the supposed Islamic fundamentalist threat over there, there has been in fact a rise in the support for Israel, but if you talk about Scandinavian countries, or England, or France, and so on. I mean the public opinion is now, in England, more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli when they are asked that question. But now of course that does not translate into the political parties of the House of Commons or places like that.

In America, it has remained the same. It’s still 63 percent for Israel, versus [about] 12 or 13 percent for Palestinians. But what has changed even in America is that the bedrock of support for Israel has shifted from American liberals to hardcore Southern Baptists, Republicans, conservatives. So Israel is aware that they have an image problem, that they did not used to have a few decades ago, and they are particularly sensitive about college campuses… Why? Because they know this is their future generation of leaders, and if this bug gets to spread all around, it’s going to be hurting Israel in the long term. Assuming Israel’s going to be around by the time they reach power. In America, of course, there is such a big gap between college campus activism on Palestine (or any matter) and the very closed, conservative nature of Congress, that Israelis have less to worry about – and yet they seem to be worried.

AW: Why do you think BDS has taken off so much in the last five to six years?

AA: Israel does not do the just thing in the new world after the Cold War. Zionists still operate the way it did back in the 1880s, when they arrived in Palestine. They still use the same brazen and blatant racist resort to war crimes and massacres that they used all along, and I think they realise that it is much more shocking and horrific by the standards of today, and as a result there is an avalanche of reaction against Israel that has been generated in Western countries.

AW: What are the differences between the BDS movement in its modern form, and the more historical Arab boycott of Israel?

AA: The Arab boycott of Israel was much more strict… On the popular level it is [still] extremely strict: refusal of travel to Israel for any purposes – tourism of any form… There are disagreements about the visits, for example, some believe that if you go to Palestinian areas for activism and you can stay in Palestinian areas, spend money there and it’s fine, as long as you boycott any companies who trade with Israel.

The Arab boycott has been extremely effective – the loosening of it has been at the official level. When I was growing up, there was this simultaneous double boycott of Israel. There was the popular level that did not need any instruction, and then there was the official level, which was bad… So the BDS movement is a continuation, I think, of an Arab League official plan.

AW: What is your opinion of activists, quite often from Europe and America, who go to occupied Palestine?

AA: I have no problems with that whatsoever. I have a distinction made about Arabs who go there – those who have Arab citizenship, even if they have a passport from elsewhere. I am not against Palestinians who hold citizenship in America to go to Palestine, because that’s their home. But as long as Israel is occupying the land, and to abide by the Arab League boycott of Israel, I still believe we should adhere, and that all Arab citizens should not pass through Israeli soldiers’ checkpoints to enter into Palestine. If you do, it’s in areas where you do not have to go through them.

AW: So what’s the material difference there?

AA: That we have an Arab League boycott. The Arab League never did anything good! But they did [make] this plan of boycott of Israel, which I believe is something we should support.

AW: Many activists who go to Palestine are actually from Sweden, Norway, Scandinavian countries.

AA: Amazing. Those countries, when you go there, sometimes if you will stay for a week you will see a demonstration about Palestine somewhere – posters about Palestine everywhere – it’s amazing. Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands – it’s advanced. Over there, being pro-Palestinian is becoming part of the definition of being a leftist. I mean it’s easy to be a leftist against war in general – the John Lennon version. The challenge is to be a leftist in a way that puts real challenge to the powers of government and the super powers around the world, because you can really expose the hypocrisy on the question on Palestine. This is why Palestine becomes more symbolic for many activists. It’s not only about Palestine, it’s about the hypocrisy of the Western world.

AW: I think I read in one interview a Scandinavian activist saying that Palestine had become the Vietnam of our time.

AA: Yes, absolutely. And I’m glad that Jane Fonda is not on our side. Who wants her?

AW: Western activists who go to Palestinian demonstrations in the West Bank will quite often come into contact with Israeli activists, some of whom are anti-Zionist. You’ve said on your blog that you’re against any contact with Israelis, basically. Is that a fair understanding of your position?

AA: This is not an easy position, but that is my position. I have taken that position for a while. [Once] I was giving a talk at SOAS here in London and my hosts were sitting with me, and one of them was a graduate student and it was clear that she is one of the activists on Palestine. So suddenly it occurred to me to ask her, based on her accent, I said: “Are you Israeli?” and she said “Yeah, I am”. I said “have you served in the army?” and then she told me yes, that she was an instructor in the Israeli army. And then I had to tell her, “Well, let me tell you my position: I cannot talk to you.” Everyone around her, even her teacher (and one of her teachers is a good friend of mine) are telling me that she’s a wonderful person, that she has made a radical transformation, and I said “But that’s my position.

And it’s not because of ideological dogmatism that I take this position, at all. It’s really, like, emotional. I mean, I get bothered – I just get bothered. To be sitting and chatting with somebody, and then thinking that this person may have killed a brother or sister… You know, I just can’t do that. Even with Ilan Pappe – I was telling [my wife] Farah – I was with him on a panel once, I didn’t ask that question. He’s done great work, but he served, right?

AW: I read in his memoirs that he did.

AA: Yeah, and as a result I remember I made a conscious effort not to shake his hand. So it bothers me. There is one known Arab here, who has been an adviser to Yasser Arafat and I told him, I said: “Don’t you have a psychological barrier?” Because it’s huge in my case and I don’t want to cross it and he told me “I do, but I feel like I have to cross it for another purpose”… I mean it’s psychological and personal… and for me, I am not for the categorical rejection of anyone. I have elaborated a position which [laughs] which basically…

AW: You wrote on your blog you’re opposed to contact with any Israeli, except where they’ve taken armed resistance against Israel.

AA: … they are resistant against Israel, or if they leave the land. There’s this socialist, anarchist Israeli who keeps sending me email, and he wrote an open letter to me one time. I never responded to him, I couldn’t.

AW: So do you think Westerners who make contact with Israelis are breaking a boycott?

AA: Not necessarily. I’m not dogmatic about that. They have a different experience, and I know their motives are very good, and I’m sure [the activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer] Rachel Corrie, who paid with her life for the cause, had dealt with Israelis, and I’m not in any way going to to delegitimise what she does for that… But this is for me – I’m not in any way saying that this is national or international policy, you know, this is suitable for me, it may not be suitable for someone else. I know many Arabs who disagree with me. Farah disagrees with me on this…

AW: There is a difference between a personal opinion and a general boycott strategy.

AA: Yea, yea, of course. This is the suitable position for me. There are Arabs I know who are activists, who deal with Israelis and I don’t reject them in any way, I’m not judgemental like that. But for me, I cannot.

Farah Rowaysati: The BDS [movement] does not call for boycotts against Israelis as persons, it calls for the boycott of institutions.

AA: But I am for super-BDS.

FR: I’m against dealing with Israelis who are Zionists…

AA: One time I gave a talk in Berkley, and this guy came up to me and said, “I’m an Israeli and I really agree with everything you say, I’m going to go back and work for human rights after I finish my law degree for the Palestinians” and I was like “Well, you know I don’t speak to Israelis” and he said “Yeah I know, I understand: I just wanted you to know” [laughs].

I’m happier like this, you know what I’m saying? I have a huge psychological block… We come from South Lebanon, both of us, which is so directly affected. We both grew up in homes that are within a few miles from Palestinian refugee camps.

FR:We’ve experienced several wars.

AW: What do you make of Gilad Atzmon? He is an Israeli saxophonist – a jazz musician who expresses support for Palestinians.

AA: I have declared him an anti-Semitic person based on things I’ve read. And that upset many Western supporters of this guy, and Arabs. I have refused any contact with this guy and, you know me: I’m strict about many things… and one of them is refusing any association with anybody who has the slightest tinge of anti-Semitism. And he has more than a tinge of anti-Semitism – he basically, writes against –

AW: ‘Jewishness’ is what he calls it… He’s a strange character because he keeps cropping up every few years and there keeps being controversy about him. He lives here [in London] by the way.

AA: Oh really? Call me paranoid – I mean that, please do, call me conspiratorial – I know there are genuine anti-Semites who creep into our movement, but I do worry that there are some infiltrators who pose as anti-Semites to stigmatise the movement. I’m not sure which group he belongs to, but either way I don’t want him [around]. It would be funny if he was sitting here in the cafe, right now.
I have declared him an anti-Semitic person based on things I’ve read. ... I have refused any contact with this guy... I’m strict about many things… and one of them is refusing any association with anybody who has the slightest tinge of anti-Semitism. And he has more than a tinge of anti-Semitism
AW: [Laughs] With all this news about Israeli organisations that want to sabotage the “delegitimization” movement [like the Reut Institute], people are getting justifiably paranoid about spies or infiltrators. Especially in London.

AA: It’s legitimate to be paranoid. I have heard enough by people in the United States about their experiences in the 1960s and 70, and many of them tell me that the loudest big-mouths during the 60s and 70s were the ones who turned out to be turncoats, the ones who would say during meetings, you know: “Let’s go and bomb that building!”

AW: You recently commented on your blog about Hamas being “for sale”. What did you mean?

AA: Al-Quds al Arabi had this story on the front page in which [Hamas leader] Khalid Maashal was cited – he was under pressure by the Saudis, that they would not have any dealing with Hamas unless he cuts all ties with Iran. And he was quoted as saying something to the effect that “I would accept that, if Saudi Arabia was providing the same support that I’ve been getting from Iran.

So to me that indicated that Hamas is up for sale. I have always been suspicious of this guy, and never liked him (I’ve always felt that he is leading the movement on the footsteps of Fatah)… Look how [Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza] Ismail Haniyeh, when he went for his tour recently, asked to stop in Saudi Arabia.

AW: So how do you think those comments are related to the wave of Arab uprising the previous year, and the rise to prominence of the Muslim Brotherhood?

AA: [Many Palestinians] are worried that the Arab uprisings are marginalising the coverage of the Palestinians, and I share that kind of worry. Ismail Haniyeh strikes me as much more sincere than Khalid Maashal despite my opposition to the ideology of the movement and its practices. On the other hand, I think they also want to take advantage of the rise of the horrible Muslim Brotherhood, and I think the lousy Muslim Brotherhood is one of the reasons why I find Hamas to be very problematic.

It is a by-product of the Muslim Brotherhood which has contributed really nothing to the struggle for Palestinians… Look at Rashid Ghanuchi [leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda party], who flies all the way to Washington DC to prostrate and speak before Zionist groups and offer to not include in the new [Tunisian] constitution an article that will ban normalisation with Israel — which tells you that they buy and sell.

AW: I put on Twitter that I was going to interview you, and I got several Syrians angrily Tweeting questions.

AA: On Facebook, if you read Arabic… both sides are very unhappy with me, and the Syrian regime side, they have a lot of supporters. And both sides are unhappy. What can I say? I have nothing to apologise for. If anything, I think the positions taken by the Syrian National Council have reinforced every single suspicion and doubt that I have harboured against them all along. I do believe there is a real conspiracy, and I believe there is an attempt to hijack a legitimate uprising against a repressive regime.

AW: One question on Twitter was: “How does it feel to be called a regime apologist?”

AA: If some intellectual goons of the Syrian National Council think that they can intimidate me or delegitimize what I do, by calling me a “regime stooge” or something like that, of course that’s not going to bother me, because I know myself. I mean, as long as I get a daily barrage of criticisms, and sometimes insults – not as obscene as the ones I get from the other side, but still from the side of the regime – I know where I stand.

When I was opposed to the Syrian regime in 1976 when they invaded Lebanon, to crush a great leftist movement at the time, these people who are criticising me now were not even born. So I don’t need any sermons about the stance against the Syrian regime. Their intellectual method is very clear. It’s quite funny, in fact – you may be opposed to the Syrian regime, you may call for its overthrow, you may support armed rebellion against the Syrian regime. But – if you don’t support the Syrian National Council, you are for the regime. What the fuck is that? It’s absurd. In other words, I want to reassure my enemies that their attacks on me and name-calling do not bother me in the least, and the more they come, the better. I want to make the life of my enemies miserable…

I don’t support the Free Syrian Army. Now I have received information that the Free Syrian Army of Riad al-Assad comes from the background of Hizb ut-Tahrir [a political-religious movement]. No, I don’t support that. I don’t support pawns of Turkish, Islamist intelligence. But the principle: I am in favour of the right of every Arab population to raise arms against its government. Absolutely, and I make no apologies about that.

AW: The Tunisian government as well?

AA: Absolutely!

AW: One of your criticisms of Al-Jazeera [the popular Arabic satellite TV channel owned by the royal family of Qatar] is that they now rely on anonymous sources a lot. Someone on Twitter wanted me to ask: “why then do you use anonymous sources on your blog?”

AA: I am not a newspaper. I am not a TV station. I am a blogger who is doing a very personal thing. I share whatever information I have, and even rumours. Sometimes I receive rumours and I share them with people. Sometimes they are true, sometimes they are not – and whenever I am given evidence that something I have put is wrong, I always say that I’m correcting it, and I don’t change it. I have a policy of never re-editing things I have posted after I’ve posted them.

On Al-Jazeera [Arabic], when they used to air Bin Laden’s tapes, they used to put the disclaimer every time: “We have not yet authenticated this statement” — even when it was very clear it’s Bin Laden! [But now] whenever they put various clips from YouTube, they never have any disclaimers…

AW: So don’t you think journalists might have reason to be using anonymous sources in Syria?

AA: I did not in any way oppose the use of anonymous sources in journalism. I was making the point about how Al-Jazeera is now comical. This is like a caricature of propaganda TV in the Arab world…

AW: What accounts for the shift? Is it purely [Qatari] reconciliation with Saudi Arabia?

AA: Absolutely… Basically, Al-Jazeera have become to me much more malleable, much more obedient in its service for the shifts in Qatari foreign policy than I’d expected. But it has become a campaign by Qatar and whatever Qatar represents… It has become so feverish, the campaign is so comical, it’s so lacking in credibility, and therefore lending an undeniable, unwitting hand to the Syrian regime.

AW: A final question on Palestine and Palestinian solidarity: what do you think is the main thing to focus on, strategically?

AA: Non-compromise on the total rejection of Israel. I believe the total rejection of Zionism in Palestine should be in the platform and the plan of every movement. I think all these attempts to reconcile Palestine and Israel, and “let’s live together as Israelis and Palestinians in two separate states” – all that is going to be at the expense of the lives and the cause of the Palestinians. And for me, any movement that does not reject – categorically – Zionism, is akin to a movement against apartheid South Africa that basically wants a reconciliation with apartheid, and there should be no doubt about that part. You know, we should insist on that part.

AW: Thanks for your time.

Asa Winstanley is a freelance journalist based in London who has lived in and reported from occupied Palestine. His first book “Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation ” has been published by Pluto Press. His Palestine is Still the Issue column appears monthly. His website is


  1. Following weeks of harasment by Zionist infiltrators Tony Greenstein and Abraham Weizfeld; Paul Barrow, an American solidarity activist told the two tribal activists what he thought of them both. ~ the Editors…
    I wouldn’t be so generous as to call you or Weizfeld an “anti-Zionist Jew,” Tony (Greenstein). You look pretty Zionist to me. Zionism is not just the affirmation of the right of a Jewish claim to a bunker along the shores of the Mediterranean. It is this belief in something universally sacrosanct about Jewishness, despite lack of any evidence that there is anything universal about Jews, other than a claim to being “Jewish” that we are not allowed to criticize, regardless of how ugly “Jews” become as a political force in asserting their control over the universe in the name of their tribe. I’m not even sure of your qualifications as a Jew. No one has asked me what my preferences are as to a claim of any sort of identity, and perhaps you should establish your credentials for being a Jew in the first place, since you are so earnest in your desire to defend their honor

  2. The typical Zionist hasbara method of systematic attempt to discredit any genuine Resistance Mass Movement, is brilliantly exposed by Jonathan Azaziah thorough analysis of the case of Uri-Avnery, allegedly a “humanist” and “peace activist”. Not surprisingly, the same method and tactics are used by another UK “humanist” and “peace activists”. In this case Tony Greenstein takes it upon himself todiscredit the Islamic Resistance Mass Movement which was also elected by majority Palestinian into government in 2006.

    After a long campaign along with his partisans “Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods” JBIG, Mr. Greenstein managed recently to insert a sugar coated motion that would act as a diversion of PSC and lead it away from total dedication of supporting the oppressed Palestinians into fighting side battles of ADL and BOD of British Jews type.
    Of course the likes of Greenstein and co, would like the world along with PSC members to believe that there is absolutely no Jewish link, and there is absolutely no Jewish connection or dimension in the catastrophe that befell upon Palestine!

  3. thanks Gert. maybe u'd like to do a combined article together with some screen shots or whatever as jpgs and i'll put them up.

    I didn't quite realise how polluted the sewer is. Clearly the fragrant Sarah AB is not going to be smelling of roses!

  4. Tony:

    Her Fragrance isn’t all that bothered. To your average Zionist antisemitism is a far worse crime than any other form of racism. So she’ll put up a bit of ‘yeah but no but’ ‘resistance’ but the comments stand. None have been quietly disappeared, I checked.

    Let me get a few more crops, then I’ll collate into a separate blog. You can then contribute if you like or just cut and past.

    I don’t really see the need for screenshots. If they do delete they can complain and the complaint will be allowed to stand as a rebuttal. But the comments are real, no dispute possible there. Perhaps I’ll get a screenshot of the worst, which I’m sure is yet to come.

    Nice bit of vile antisemitism you've got going there, at the top. Yuk!

  5. I just don't delete very much generally. They all disappear soon enough anyway. I do try to challenged bigoted perspectives although obviously I can't monitor round the clock.

  6. Sarah:

    My beef with HP is that it leaves some virulent racism (of various stripes) to stand while often deleting anti-Zionist comments on the false premise that the latter are antisemitic. But if by HP’s logic anti-Zionism is antisemitic (and thus racist), then why are other racist comments allowed to stand? Does HP perhaps consider antisemitism a ‘worse’ kind of racism?

  7. OK Gert - that's fair enough. I think one HP writer was quite up front in the comments about saying he had deleted TG - I assume out of a backlog of irritation. HP does have a kind of get out clause - 'you may have caught a moderater on a bad day' in the HP comments policy, which is necessary when several people are involved and total consistency just isn't possible.

    I suppose - don't hold me to this, I haven't had any caffeine yet - I would only say that there is an *intersection* between anti-zionism and racism. See for example the later sections of Bob's post here and my reply.


    I do blog about other forms of racism and bigotry - as you know, from your own gleanings, I have blogged on the Roma and anti-Muslim bigotry recently, also on censoring the word 'Palestine', a story I also blogged about when it first appeared.


  8. Sarah:

    Points noted.

    Yeah, Bob from Brockley. If I need to know how many angels to fit on the tip of a needle I know where to go. How many ‘hands’ does that guy have (three to make his points and a spare pair for the handwringing)? Friends of that other twit, Modders, could never be friends of mine.

    The point stands: the Brown Sauce deletes well formed criticisms of Israeli FP, while allowing the vilest anti-Muslim bigotry ( ;-) ), anti-Roma and anti-French screeds to stand. Not to mention not trying to reign in a blowhard cyber-bully like ‘Alec’: no wonder your ‘centre Left’ joint attracts BNP scumbags…

    I’ll give you six months before you leave of your own account in disgust.

  9. Andy, would it not be better to give someone like Redscribe a warning rather than hastily banning him outright? S/he often has some well-argued comments on other topics. Why this person but not an obvious racist (however well-connected with the Labour Party) like John P. Reid seems a bit inconsistent.

  10. I do blog about other forms of racism and bigotry...on the Roma and anti-Muslim bigotry recently
    - It's true, SarahAB has also blogged on disabled hate crime, in seeming support of it. See comments 10, 12 and 19 in the following thread especially -
    Extraordinary BBC Bias
    14 Dec 2010
    Socialist Unity

    SarahAB's support for police and BBC attacks on the disabled is just part of the increasing hate crimes against them in Britian.

    No prizes for guessing Jody McIntyre is anti-zionist and the BBC pro-zionist.

  11. Joe90 - I have also written several posts about disability cuts on HP




    Your analysis of my comments on SU seems perverse.

  12. SarahAB, a friend of the far-right American racist blog Harry's Sewer pretending to be a political progressive.

    It must come from having to protect yourself from violent wheelchair wielding paraplegics with cerebral palsy "rolling" their wheelchairs towards you in a threatening and provocative manner. Maybe, in true Daily Mail commenteer fashion, it's because of all those chronically disabled yobbos trying to run you over in their motorised scooters.

    Notice SarahAB claiming to support the Hardest Hit rally in October 2010, yet a few months later she's a cheerleader in defending the right of police to beat the crap out of a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy at another political demo.

    Also notice SarahAB, in the light of the increasing hate campaign and hate violence directed at the disabled, does not apologise for her earlier support of violence against the disabled and her defence of those committing the violence. Objecting to her supporting violence against the disabled is "perverse" apparantly.

    I don't see any disabled activist groups using the far-right American racist blog you mention in support of their cause. Do them a favour and don't mention it yourself.

    Call me perverse but any human rights campaign is no place for zionist snakes and hypocrites.

  13. Yes I'm not sure how Sarah AB can justify the police violence against someone in a wheelchair and claim to support disability rights.

    All our freedoms come from those prepared to put their necks on the line just as in all repressive states the Police are the last to abandon the regime in power. In other words the Police are always hostile to those attempting to change society or defend previous gains. Which is why the Met spent untold amounts of money infiltrating the climate change camps and other environmentalists.

    I don't suppose it every occurred to them to infiltrate the City and the bankers. And we know they were in bed with Rupert Murdoch.

    In fact, despite the Police finding in favour of themselves re their attack on a cerebal palsy victim in a wheelchair, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (which is hardly independent) found it sufficiently indefensible to overturn the police's findings. I assume that Sarah will now reconsider her original position but also ask herself why she got into it. Is defending the natural right of the Israeli state to use untold amounts of violence having its effect?

    Re being banned from Harry's Place is a small honour in its own way. But I find difficult to take is the disingenuous. Before PSC expelled a holocaust denier and adopted policy making clear its opposition to anti-Semitism and holocaust denial, HP even carried posts giving critical support to those of us engaged in the task of eradicating anti-Semitism in the PS movement.

    In particular one Anthony Cooper but even Sarah herself. But despite cheer leading from the sidelines HP was flummoxed. What could they do now that PSC had taken the very steps they had been criticising it for not taking?

    They first tried to pretend that if 80% supported the expulsion of a holocaust denier then 20% must have supported him. When that simplistic view of life was knocked on the head, since the evidence was to the contrary, what did HP do? It forgot Atzmon and went back to the original line, which is that we are all anti-Semites anyway.

    In which case why concentrate on Atzmon in the first place? After all anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism so, if anything, Atzmon should be congratulated for his sincerity. In fact lots of Zionists have said as much, because for them and Zionism historically, anti-Semitism has been something to welcome. As Herzl noted in his Diaries, and I paraphrase, 'In Paris I began to pardon and understand anti-Semitism'.

    In short it is not anti-Semitism but anti-Zionism which is the problem. That is something that Anthony Cooper and I suspect Sarah, doesn't understand. Without anti-Semitism there is no Zionism - it is the steam in the engine of Zionism, to adopt Herzl's analogy in Der Judenstaat.

    Indeed if Sarah were to be really honest she would have to ask why it is that Zionist statements about Jews in the diasporah historically have been indistinguishable from the things anti-Semites said. But youthful apologists for Zionism have barely heard of, still less understand, such concepts as the Zionist Negation of the Diaspora.

    But either way, HP is not just a reactionary and racist site, it is also fundamentally dishonest and I don't accept that my 'moderation' has anything to do with a bad day for a mod. After all, if it was such a bad day how come he let through all the BNP style crap?

  14. Here are some quotes from what I actually said about the police on that thrad.

    "I completely agree that what the police did seems to have been completely unacceptable, and I am fully sympathetic to those protesting against the cuts"

    "John g – sorry – missed your other q – no, based on what I have seen I do not defend or justify the police behaviour. I see no problem in highlighting this incident as an example of heavyhanded policing – I just didn’t have any special issues with the interview."

    Tony - as you know I posted a mutedly favourable post about the PSC -


    but, as I said in the comments at the time - how sympathetic does the PSC really want coverage of its affairs on HP to be? People who think Atzmon might be a Zionist agent (and in fact, if anything, he makes me feel quite sympathetic towards more mainstream antzionists who are targeted by him or who stand up to him, so if he is it's not working!) are probably capable of thinking a HP writer who wrote a strongly approving piece about the PSC was being mischievous, and stoking the weird agenda of Atzmon and Lauren Booth who thinks the PSC and HP are in league or something.

    I don't think you are *banned* from HP are you? Try again - but the comments aren't working at the moment.

  15. Sarah

    On the basis of what you have said you have written I withdraw my comments, but I haven't seen anything you have written on the disabled so I take it second hand.

    As you know I've written a fair few things on there and having an autistic boy it isn't simply theoretical.

    I agree, PSC certainly doesn't want favourable coverage, nor do I, on HP. Once upon a time the NF in Brighton, which had printed my name, address, picture etc. in Sussex Front and a host of abusive articles did a 'favourable review' of a pamphlet I wrote, when they discovered that I was an anti-Zionist and therefore opposed to Jewish nationalism. The review was written especially so that Zionists could use it against the common enemy (me) since we'd all but run them out of town. I know you don't approve of violence against fascists but hey that's just one more political disagreement.

    So of course you are right. Indeed when Anthony Cooper did a mildly favourable article on myself and other anti-Zionists Atzmon immediately penned something saying we were in HP's pockets.

    So no, I'd prefer not to be damned with feint praise by HP!

    As far as banning, the fact that when I posted it was under 'moderation' unlike all the racists is enough. I have hardly ever posted in the past and it is something I'm happy to live with, especially knowing that racists can post without let or hindrance on HP.

  16. Thanks Tony - I was a bit worried about the way that Cooper post might play, so did point out in the comments that I thought Jewish antizionists were not primarily motivated by anxieties about antisemitism, though they might have anxieties, but by pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel feeling. I thought about posting something drawing attention to a PSC person distancing himself from Atzmon in very forthright terms (Exeter audio on Atzmon's blog) but decided that it would not be a helpful thing to do.

  17. That's ok Sarah. Anthony Cooper's post was seized upon by GA to 'prove' that I was in league with and conspiring with HP! So the almost uniformly hostile comments helped as it were!!

    I have no anxieties about anti-Semitism because it barely exists. I refer to traditional Jew hatred and associated conspiracies, not the 'new anti-Semitism' whereby Israel becomes the 'Jew among nations' - itself a telling phrase.

    Because my father was a provincial rabbi and ministered to a succession of small communities, I went to ordinary schools till I was 11 then a Jewish school in Liverpool till I was 16 before I was expelled (anti-Apartheid activities and the Springbok rugby demonstrations and leading a school strike) and disrupting speech day when the Israeli ambassador was speaking.

    Even the NF tended to be coy about anti-Semitism and on a personal level displayed little or no anti-Semitism. Their propaganda was about Blacks and Asians not Jews - the latter provided an all encompassing conspiracy in so far as Jews were responsible for Black immigration.

    The first time I heard a 'Jewish joke' was when I attended a Jewish Lads Brigade summer camp. And since then of course, the most virulently anti-Semitic comments have come from Zionists - things like pity Auschwitz didn't get you and your family). Which is why I take all the purported concern about anti-Semitism on HP with a hefty dose of salt.

    People like my dad learnt the hard way how to tackle fascists in the East End and you had to learn to look after yourself, which is probably why he took up boxing. It was a time when many Jews boxed and there was a world welterweight champion in Ted 'kid' Lewis.

    Thanks Tony - I was a bit worried about the way that Cooper post might play, so did point out in the comments that I thought Jewish antizionists were not primarily motivated by anxieties about antisemitism, though they might have anxieties, but by pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel feeling. I thought about posting something drawing attention to a PSC person distancing himself from Atzmon in very forthright terms (Exeter audio on Atzmon's blog) but decided that it would not be a helpful thing to do.

  18. SarahAB defends patients with cerebral palsy getting dragged out of wheelchairs by the police by claiming she wasn't defending the police - but like the police, she was attacking the patient and and went on to attack other disabled wheelchair users like him.

    In as obvious an example of police brutality as anyone will ever come across, SarahAB wasn't criticing the police exactly, but only seeming to -
    I completely agree that what the police did seems to have been completely unacceptable...

    SaraAB defended the BBC line of aggressive questioning against a wheelchair user assaulted by the police that somehow he was a threat to the police by the manner in which he was "rolling" towards them -
    But he seemed to evade the question about whether he was rolling towards the police.

    More quotes from SarahAB -
    I have once or twice found myself having to get out of the way of a motorised wheelchair (or perhaps one of those mobility shopper things) in a hurry – a viewer might well have thought McIntyre had some potential to do harm.

    I agree it seems that he couldn’t have moved his wheelchair without assistance – but in a confined space I think it is conceivable that a wheelchair might be used as a weapon...

    It's obvious vulnerable wheel-chair and motorised scooter users pose a problem for the SarahAB's and Daily Mail commenteers who regularly echo her complaints. The mobility component of DLA is obviously a touchy subject for her.

    At least Littlejohn at the hate Mail doesn't go to the extremes of SarahAB claims about disabled weaponry. He just mocks them -
    Is this Paradise? Nah, Luton Airport
    Daily Mosley
    09 Sep 2010

    Some of the background regarding SarahAB's poison that the disabled in public spaces are a nuisance -
    Increase in negative coverage of disability issues in print media, report finds
    Uni of Glasgow
    19 Oct 2011

    It's part of the increase in hate crimes and because they are so easy to identify, disabled people in wheelchairs are frightened to go outside because of the level of abuse they are now getting -
    Disability hate crimes up a fifth
    The Independent
    08 Sep 2011

  19. Look, Joe, Jody was being a bit lippy, okay? And we can’t have ‘lippyness’ directed at our officers on duty, now can we?

    I mean what’s wrong with a simple ‘Yes, Sir. No, Ma’am’, huh?

    {irony off}

  20. Joe - I have blogged against cuts to the DLA etc. I think the mobility vehicles are a good thing - I was not criticising their drivers, just making the point that they are faster and heavier than people so might cause damage. I did not imply blame when I said I had to dodge the vehicles once or twice - it's probably because I tend to daydream and have poor spatial awareness. I believe that I was treating JM exactly the same as anyone else, wanting him to be exposed to the same level of scrutiny as anyone else - he is more than capable of standing up for himself in an interview - obviously not physically though. He could have answered 'I did not do x' or 'I am not physically capable of x' and that would have been the end of the matter. He gave the impression of being slightly evasive, although it might have been that he was just being rhetorical rather than trying to conceal anything.

  21. He gave the impression of being slightly evasive, although it might have been that he was just being rhetorical rather than trying to conceal anything.
    - The pot calling the kettle black.

    The assualt on Jody McIntyre was as clear an example of police brutality and assualt on a disabled person as anyone is likely to come across. For SarahAB, the great champion of the disabled however, there are questions that need to be answered by the disabled victim.

    In support of the police and BBC view of an assault on a wheelchair user, that questions need to be asked implying Jody McIntyre was somewhat to blame, SarahAB pointed out how she had been assualted by scooter users on numerous occasions. However, it now turns out such incidents may have been SarahAB's own fault!

    Given the occasion of an assualt on a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy was used as an excuse for a disablist hate-fest, as evidenced by Littlejohn's mockery in the Daily Mosley, why would anyone in their right mind who cared about the disabled say such things in the first place which they later admit may have all been their own fault anyway?

    When SarahAB claims she supports the Hardest Hit demo and retaining DLA etc, does she really mean what she says or is she going to change her mind later on about it or doesn't she know?

    This reminds me of the kind of support Harry's Sewer blog gives to peace in the Middle East. One-sided, going in the wrong direction and is no real peace at all except for the powerful. The suffering powerless victims are only given even more of the same bigotry and prejudice to cope with than they can already handle.

    Now that we've cleared up the fact SarahAB's doesn't have any problems with motorised wheelchair users in public spaces after all, perhaps she'd like to explain her claim of how a wheelchair can be used as a weapon in a confined space?
    Maybe she could provide some examples of this criminal activity belonging to the Jody McIntyre school of weaponised wheelchairs?

  22. ilesyGroan.

    Gilad Atzmon Coming to DC; Save the Date
    Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

    Atzmon’s DC appearances are co-sponsored by the Washington Report, Deir Yassin ­Remembered, If Americans Knew and Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends.

    Sunday, March 11
    Gilad Atzmon and Maceo Kemp play at...(open to public, love offering to Church)....


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