October 29, 2017

Spot the difference as the Jewish Chronicle removes a published letter from its website

My friend Deborah Maccoby had a letter published in the Jewish Chronicle last week which read as follows:

About free speech

In his Holocaust Education Trust dinner speech ( “The scourge of antisemitism is changing form”, JC, October 20 2017) Andrew Neil erroneously cited the Free Speech on Israel fringe meeting at the Labour Party Conference: “the chair of the meeting asked: ‘We demand the right to debate ‘Holocaust: yes or no’”.

The chair of the meeting, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, made no mention of the Holocaust.  The guest speaker, Miko Peled, an Israeli-American who is not a member of the Labour Party, said:

“This is about free speech, the freedom to criticise and to discuss every issue, whether it’s the Holocaust: yes or no, Palestine, the liberation, the whole spectrum.  There should be no limits on the discussion”.

Peled was defining free speech as a principle, not calling for a Labour Party debate about whether or not the Holocaust happened, as was implied by Mr Neil.

Later in his speech, Andrew Neil quoted Mark Twain: “the truth has barely got its boots on before a lie is halfway round the world”.  Exactly. 

Deborah Maccoby, 
Leeds LS17
The link to the letter was here.   Clicking on the link though, you will not now find the letter.  Thanks to Google cache I know that you would have seen the letter if you'd have clicked the link between some time on 27 Oct 2017 and roughly "28 Oct 2017 02:46:01 GMT".  But now, sadly it's gone.

It's a real shame because I tweeted the link and it got several retweets and likes:
The removal of Deborah's letter from the webpage involved significant changes to the page's appearance. Look, here it is before:

Obviously, scrolling down you would see the letter, which fortunately still appears in Google cache together with the link to the Andrew Neil article which Deborah was criticising.

And here's the page after the letter was removed:

I can't help wondering if Andrew Neil (on Twitter as @afneil) asked @StephenPollard to have the letter removed.  But whatever or whoever caused Deborah Maccoby's published letter to be removed from the Jewish Chronicle, thanks to Google cache and to me everyone can see the letter and everyone can see that it has been removed.

Who knows?  Maybe the Jewish Chronicle will restore the page to its original splendour.

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