January 29, 2009

Hasbara Panic or HP for short

I have to question the Hasbara Buster's judgement going into the belly of the beast to do a satirical post on the similarities between zionist and apartheid apologetics. He has done a typically wonderful post but why he should waste it on a bunch of Eustonistas I don't know.

What am I talking about? See the post on the HB blog. Seasoned serious Israel critics will be familiar with the similarity between Israel apologetics and the old apartheid apologetics so I don't have to replicate HB's post here. The title of the post is On how Apartheid South Africa was unfairly demonized -- like Israel. His main point is that whilst there were worse human rights abuses in the world, in Africa even, than those committed by South Africa, it was South Africa that was uniquely demonised, ostracised and quarantined. That's his point. That's the height and size of his point.

The first thing to amuse me about the post on Harrys Place but not on the Hasbara Buster site was the "Editor's note":
Editor’s note: this piece is tongue in cheek. The Hasbara Buster is not supporting apartheid South Africa. Rather, he is making a point by analogy. I mention this because I expect that some people will be confused, otherwise.
In fairness, it could have been the Hasbara Buster himself that wrote that but it's certainly more than a passing possibility that since Harrys Place is a hasbara space, a lot of people may well think that a post "defending" apartheid was serious rather than satirical which is probably a good reason for principled anti-racists, like HB, not to post there.

But having satirically laid out the similarities between Israel's propaganda and that of the old apartheid South Africa a Harrys Place regular, or "Editor" even, decided to pretend that it wasn't satire at all.

Here's HP's Brett:
After taking in his article (below this one), I have to say that The Hasbara Buster is one of the sloppiest historians I have ever encountered.

If his grasp of South African history is as shonky as his grasp of Israel’s history, it is little wonder that this stretched and laboured ‘apartheid’ analogy falls so flat. His bubblegum wrapper master-class in South African history gets it wrong from the get go.

I’d like to deal with some substantive errors, so let’s dispense with those nickpicking points first and get them out of the way. HB says.....

But it doesn't matter what HB says. The point is, as the "Editor" noted, it was "tongue in cheek". He was likening the propaganda of the old South Africa to that of the State of Israel. He was deliberately falsely stating South Africa's history just as zionists falsely render Israel's history.

Funnier still is the fact that whilst the panic was apparent among some of the HP faithful, the "Editors" didn't dare tackle this in the comments to the original, and it was original, post. Nope, in their panic, the "Editors" had to speedily arrange, hot on the heels of HB's post and linked at the bottom of it, a very detailed post on South Africa's history right down to the names of the different groups of natives, discriminated against by the white settlers, whose language was an esperanto only "formally recognised in 1925". HB's satirical history, rendered in the style of an apartheid/zionist apologist was "laughable" or even "more laughable still". Careful Brett, you nearly got the point.

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