I turn to Engage every now and then when I wonder if they have a view on a given thing. I say "they", because Dr Hirsh often says something like "we at Engage" and sure enough, you do get posts in names other than Dr Hirsh but he often seems to be using a kind of royal "we". I remember watching Engage through the Lebanon war, 2006. I even remember the one Engagenik who seemed to be against it while John Strawson and Linda Grant were jumping through hoops to support it before an ignominious departure from the Just Peace UK list. It was a chap called Shalom Lapin who didn't like the Lebanon war. I can't remember if he said why he didn't like it but he wasn't comfortable with it from the beginning and of course he was vindicated by the end of it.
So where was I? Ah yes. So I turn to Engage when an Arab baby is accepted then rejected by an Israeli nursery. What did Engage say? Maybe you remember that Jon Pike is on record saying that Engage is opposed to Israeli racism. Well they didn't oppose that example, not as far as I could see.
When the assault on Gaza began I looked again at the Engage site and what did I see? Ben Cohen, a former anti-zionist, with an article on how antisemitism works today. I learned more about Shakespeare than I did at school but precious little about how anything works today. In fairness that appeared before the attack on Gaza.
The first post to appear on Engage following Israel's attack on Gaza was headed, Attacks on Hamas in Gaza are part of a world Jewish conspiracy, reports Greek newspaper. Hirsh wasn't directly commenting on the war on Gazans (and Gallileans) itself but he did signify that it was a war on Hamas thereby hinting that it involved legitimate targets but ostensibly this was an article about antisemitism. Gaza burns, Hirsh writes about antisemitism in a Greek newspaper. A Greek chap came here to point out that the paper is very low circulation in comparison to many other Greek newspapers and not taken very seriously by those that do read it. I already posted about how one Engagenik suggested that talk of an attack on Gaza amounted to a distraction from the real issue, antisemitism in a low circulation Greek newspaper!
So after a week of Israeli slaughter what else could Engage unearth to avoid a comment on it? Channel 4 to the rescue. At last Hirsh got a reply from Channel 4 to his letter complaining about having Ahmadinejad being given airtime for a Christmas speech. Remember this post where I mention resistor? He pops up in the comments:
I’m afraid we don’t seem to be able to get any reaction from David Hirsh to the bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza. he does run this site and has made at least one posting since the bombing. I’m a member of the UCU and Hirsh would stop me even discussing a boycott of Israeli Universities. I’m offering him the freedom to either support or condemn the bombing and destruction of a Palestinian university. I promise not to run to Anthony Julius for an injunction as I believe in free speech.Who is this person? Again the wolves close in. Woops, dehumanisation. Sorry. They call on Dr Hirsh to moderate more strictly and I must say I'm surprised that the comments are allowed through. I know I've mentioned before that I had a comment stopped for asking what George Galloway had ever said that was antisemitic. And once I said that it doesn't matter how many states there are in Palestine, it's how they're governed that counts. That too was disallowed. Some of the comments directed at resistor are angry and insulting enough for Hirsh to be using one of his notorious sock puppets but resistor is accused of being mad or paranoid for suggesting such a terrible thing.
Eventually, Dr Hirsh tears himself away from the Chanukah festivities to present Some things worth reading on the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. He still doesn't actually say anything about it himself, he just sets out a whole aviary of hasbara parrots:
Jeff Weintraub here.I wonder why he couldn't categorise that stuff. Look for an Israel critic there and you'll be a long time looking.Posted in Uncategorized
So we are still left wondering where Dr Hirsh stands on this issue of Israel's attack on Gaza and in particular the destruction of the Islamic University. And we are no wiser when he publishes a post on some antisemitic graffiti in Golders Green. Actually one of the responses to the post was worth a post in its own right. A friend of mine once asked the so-called Community Security Trust how they decide if an event is an antisemitic incident and how they compile their statistics. They said they'd get back to him but never did. Well a CST chap in the comments said that the woman should contact them again (she tried already) to tell them about what she saw or if not they could record what happened as an incident "from the information you have posted here." Got that? The Community Security Trust will record as an antisemitic incident something they have read on Engage.
And this brings me to, finally, why it is that Dr Hirsh needs help. The previous post was on antisemitic graffiti in Golders Green, an area of London with a large Jewish population. The next and latest post is titled Time to articulate our hurt in the war on hate. The article, by Winston Pickett, is lifted from the Jewish Chronicle from 23/12/2009. Dr Hirsh is so desperate to find antisemitism, at a time when articles about Israel, zionism, Jews and Gaza are flooding the mainstream and independent media he has had to go to a Jewish Chronicle article supposedly about antisemitism from over a week ago. In a week when the Jewish state has unleashed a most barbaric assault on Gaza and killed a large number of civilians Dr Hirsh can't even find current articles with any antisemitism in them still less can he bring himself to express his own opinion of what is now happening to the people of Gaza so he has to dig up an old JC from just before Christmas.
Help him somebody. Google "Jew". Find some antisemitism out there somewhere.