September 04, 2007

Blaming the victims?

I just checked out Harry's Place, a kind of Eustonista-cum-Engage style pro-war pro-zionist website, to see if they had anything about this George Galloway falling out with the SWP business and sure enough they did. But scrolling down I saw this post on what promises to be a ludicrous article by a British MP in the Washington Post. The MP was the organiser of a group of MPs who produced a report purporting to be on antisemitism in the UK and that's the subject of the article. Well Harry's Place wants you to
Read it all. And then compare it to the cowardly words of far-Left (and apparently somewhat unbalanced) martyr Norman Finkelstein, who said, "I am just the messenger who reports on the actions of the Jewish establishments, actions that are encouraging anti-Semitism."

Blaming antisemitism on the actions of Jews themselves? That's an old one, professor.

So read the whole load of tosh by an MP that could have been written by Abe Foxman and compare it to one line uttered by Finkelstein. Words which, taken with other things that he has written about the exploitation of the holocaust by extortionists calling themselves the World Jewish Congress and the things he has written about Israel and a certain zionist Harvard professor, are "cowardly." Now it was big of them to provide the link to where these "cowardly words" were written because the courageous words immediately above them say:
Finkelstein, himself Jewish, has been accused of fomenting anti-Semitism through his unrelenting criticism of Israel and Jewish leaders, a charge he denied to an Israeli newspaper
The "cowardly words" follow on directly from that and according to Gene at Harry's Place, they amount to "blaming anti-Semitism on the actions of Jews themselves." So there are people who blame a Jew, Norman Finkelstein, for "fomenting anti-Semitism through his unrelenting criticism of Israel and Jewish leaders." To which Finkelstein replies that it might actually be the actions themselves that are causing antisemitism rather than his reporting of those actions. And his words are cowardly and his detractors words are.... Well what are his detractors' words if not blaming a Jew for antisemitism? And how does flying in the face of the establishment on campus and in the mainstream media amount to cowardice exactly? Can these people not disagree with a person without casting aspersions on their character? Why don't they just say they don't agree? Is it to serve notice that a reasonable debate cannot be had on this? Why did they ignore the fact that some people are blaming Finkelstein, a Jew, for antisemitism? This Gene guy isn't just dishonest. This Gene guy (girl?) is a bully. It doesn't matter what Finkelstein says. He's anti-war and he's anti-zionist so he's a non-person. Normal rules of discourse don't apply. His expressed views have cost him his tenure as he must have known they might. And they will cost him jobs elsewhere too. And yet this bully boy Gene can call him a coward. He is telling the Harry's Place faithful that we don't like this Finkelstein chap so let's call him a, er, er, coward. Yes, let's encircle him in the playground, poke his chest and say "coward!"

Under the masthead at Harry's Place are the words "Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to tell people what they don't want to hear." Liberty's a perplexing little concept. I mean is it liberty to sing "cowardly" or some other put-down in unison with the rest of the mainstream media and most western governments (and DePaul's donors) when someone says what you don't want to hear? Or is it offensive to liberty? Of course, Finkelstein can still say what this Gene chap doesn't want to hear but surely Finkelstein's "courageous" detractors get far more outlets to condemn his "cowardly words" than he does to utter them. This is a blog that says what the powerful want people to hear. Liberty for them is the power to bully and abuse those who say what the establishment doesn't want them to say. What's the point of a blog doing that? Now it wouldn't be as catchy a slogan but we might want to restate it as "Liberty is the right to have people hear what they don't want to hear." Clunky yes. But there are some who use their liberty to make so much noise that radical opinions, and even facts, get drowned out in the cacophony. This is the liberty that Harry's Place exemplifies, certainly in this wretched post. It's noise, nothing more.

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