April 19, 2009

T is for Terrible but also for Typical

There something curious going on at Harry's Place. There's a guest post by a chap called Alex Stein drawing attention to what he calls a murder by an Israel soldier or soldiers, if members of the unit of the man who shot a Palestinian in the chest with a tear gas canister or something that looks like one decide to cover for their colleague who managed to get himself filmed in the act.



The first comment is by Mr T himself. Aghast that such a terrible Israeli crime should be caught on film he is at his eloquent best as he cries, "That is terrible". No Mr T, as you know, it is typical.

Now HP was very supportive of Operation Cast Lead and Alex Stein was happy enough with it too, though he may have had one or two gripes about actions within the assault on Gaza. Here's a post I just dug up by David T during the assault on Gaza. And here's one from Alex Stein. I'm guessing they're fairly typical of both so what's brought on this sudden outpouring of liberal angst? David T certainly doesn't usually wring his hands about Israeli atrocities and within Israel's murderous scheme of things, shooting one person at close range with a tear gas canister isn't exactly the worst of it.

Oh I know these hasbara sites can do their liberal angst when denouncing the illiberalism of various islamist regimes and parties but I'm not used to seeing any criticism of Israel. They've even shocked some of their own.

Gene who seems to share status with Mr T at Harry's Place, comments thus:
The IDF claims there was a riot, although it doesn’t appear violent from the video. But please, let’s be precise about the word “murder.” It was only murder if the soldier fired the tear gas canister with the intent of killing someone.
And of course you can know that by asking him, can't you? In the UK recklessness counts as intent for certain violent crimes including murder. (but see the corrective comment by Tony Greenstein below) According to Gene, that's not the case in Palestine. You can fire a tear gas canister at close range at someone's chest and it's for prosecutors, such as there are, to establish what you actually intended by that.

There's no surprise about Gene's comment and Alex Stein fancies himself on the left of the zionist spectrum so not much surprise with him. Ok, Mr T pretending that the incident was somehow atypical isn't that surprising but what brought it on just now? Someone has said in the comments that Alex Stein has pulled a bit of a Seth Freedman. You know, a kneejerk outpouring against nasty things he must have known about in the first place. But that explains it appearing on Stein's blog. Why the rush to get it on to Harry's Place?

And why did he pour his heart out the post before the post before the "Murder" about all these people who he claims hate him and are lucky he doesn't sue them for their expressions of hatred of him? It's an apparently diverse list of islamists, a fascist, a trot, and me and I'm described as an "oddball". I think that must be because he's tried the antisemitism smear a few times on me, he can't link me too closely to the SWP and he just finds it odd that someone with no particular axe to grind on other issues finds colonial settlement, ethnic cleansing and segregationist laws kind of repugnant.

I don't get many mentions on HP and I didn't get much of one on this post but the thread is dominated by references to me and Mr T makes a couple of appearances to stress that I am the oddball he lists me as in the post and to say that I am, wait for it, an elf. Fiendishly funny that man.

A couple of people make out that I am a troll on other people's blogs, that I manipulate the comments in Jews sans frontieres to win arguments by avoiding them and that I just ignore superior arguments and pretend they never happened. There's no corrective from the poor libelled Mr T in spite of the fact that he tends to do just that when his bogus antisemitism innuendoes fall flat here and on other blogs he makes the mistake of venturing into without his own troll army. Another thing the poor libelled Mr T does is allow someone to post a comment suggesting that I promote the idea that zionists are responsible for the holocaust. Is that libel? Let's face it, in the plaintiff friendly regime that is the UK's libel laws, anything critical of a person can be libel.

Hasbara Buster has some critical words for the post:
Let’s not be paranoid — if someone attacks you it doesn’t necessarily follow that they hate you.

Also, I don’t agree with the thesis that if people criticize you it’s because you’ve told truths that they don’t like to hear. In some cases it may be because you’re wrong.
To which T responds with a typically cryptically rhetorical question:
Let’s not be paranoid — if someone attacks you it doesn’t necessarily follow that they hate you.

I think I can be pretty sure with the guys above.

Also, I don’t agree with the thesis that if people criticize you it’s because you’ve told truths that they don’t like to hear. In some cases it may be because you’re wrong.

You do appreciate that certain political philosophies are described as ‘extreme’ for a reason?

To which HB responds with some kind words for me:
I believe one-sidedness is not the same as extremism. The only person I know from your list, Mark Elf, is by no means an extremist.

Unless we want to trivialize the word “extreme,” just like we’ve done with the word “antisemite.” In that case, who among us would be safe from being called an extremist? Would you?

Needless to say T disappears but just before HB's appearance one of the troll army popped in to enjoy the fun of misrepresenting me so T knew he was leaving his thread in hands as er capable as his own. This is someone called "amie"
I was shocked to find my name in Google linked to a comment by one Mark Elf where he gleefully wrote that I had been ripped apart by Shlaim,
I had no idea what he was talking about but back comes Hasbara Buster:
And rip you apart he did. In your letter, you exonerated Betar because Ben Yosef’s attack on a bus was botched — when you know perfectly well that Betar member David Raziel bombed marketplaces on at least 5 occasions, killing scores of completely innocent Arabs! That’s why Shlaim, correctly, said “That the operation was botched does not make it any less reprehensible. It is the intention that counts and the intention was to murder a busload of innocent Arab civilians. And this was only one in a long series of terrorist attacks mounted by the Irgun and the Stern Gang on Arab buses and marketplaces.”
But get this in reponse to another comment faintly, you might say, supportive of me:
7. Mark Elf - oddball

he might not disagree with that characterization.

for all the dismissive comments made here, you all seem to pay attention to him. How do you figure?

His writing is interesting and always with a touch of humor. He makes clear points without feigning scholarship. He doesn’t pretend to be an expert on subjects he has just looked up on Wikipedia. I like him very much.

I also like David T. Do I need a shrink?

No, you need a life! Not really, stout fellow. But it was still too much for the hated libelled David T. He still didn't come back.

But what's all this about? This phoney angst about one of Israel's many thousands of unarmed victims? And this bleating about being libelled but being too principled to take action? There's a game on. I just know it. And why didn't he mention all the people that clearly like him like Melanie Phillips, David Hirsh, Matt Seaton and more recently Ian Hislop? Some people have got persecution mania. But what's the game here?

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