January 31, 2011

Harry's Place and Engage quietly agree to disagree on an "antisemitic" incident

Here's a thing I've only just noticed.  Harry's Place and Engage are usually very quick to smear critics of Israel as being antisemitic.  The latter, Engage, can usually be relied on to haul up obscure instances of antisemitism when Israel is behaving particularly badly.  But now there have been allegations of antisemitism on student demonstrations from three mainstream media outlets, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail and Sky News and Engage hasn't said a word.  Harry's Place has run a post on it where they saw fit to post a comment as an update thus:
I was at this protest today and I heard 2, yes, two people chanting this [antisemitic abuse]. And, guess what, the two men chanting this were of Asian descent, they were not white. 
The comment goes on to complain that The Daily Mail hadn't mentioned that the offending remarks were made by Asians and not whites and that
about 20 or so people started chanting “no, no, no to racists” at these men.
Ok, so Harry's Place has made a balls up suggesting that The Daily Mail should be racially profiling those it smears but still you would expect a self-styled "anti-racist campaign against antisemitism", such as Engage claims to be, to express concern about these allegations of antisemitism against student protesters against the education cuts in the UK. If the allegations were true you'd expect Engage to report on them and denounce the perpetrators. If false, they might be concerned enough to denounce those using the false allegation of antisemitism in order to deflect criticism of the government over the education cuts.

But of course there is a problem here. Harry's Place is one of the few blogs reporting and supporting the rightist allegations against the students. It turns out that the main activists in the march that drew the false allegations were from the so-called Alliance for Workers Liberty. The AWL are mostly a zionist group masquerading as trotskyists in order to more effectively deploy the antisemitism smear against anti-zionists. To do this effectively they have to get involved in causes that have no direct bearing on Palestine. So there they are getting involved with the students when the right decides that the antisemitism smear might be useful to help the UK government with its little difficulty over the cuts. So now the AWL is in the role reversing position of having to denounce false allegations of antisemitism. So now we have Harry's Place accusing AWL activists of antisemitism when usually HP. the AWL and Engage sing from the same smear sheet. So where is Engage on this?  Does it denounce imaginary antisemitism as it so often does or does it denounce the imaginers?  My bet is that they will continue to ignore the whole thing.

But Harry's Place and the Alliance for Workers Liberty have surpassed even themselves.  For years they have cheapened the allegation of antisemitism.  Now, with Engage's silence on this latest issue, they have bankrupted it.  Well done those three!

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