November 02, 2005

Nick Cohen playing the dissident Jewish Rationalist philosopher?

Get this bit of weirdness. I got this comment today:
"Just to add that there was a small contingent from the Socialist Workers Party and there was a local anarchist and some Respect people with us" [this was a quote from my post on the cantata picket]

They say never judge a man by his friends. But, you know, on this occasion I think I *will*.

Shame on you for your self-loathing sophistry. There is a rich tradition in Judaism of critique and dialectic: by keeping close quarter with Galloway's disgusting, viscerally antisemitic mob, who do everything to close down debate or discussion they disagree with, you discredit your own case which might well be very good for a healthy debate on Judaism and the rights of Palestinians of all faiths or none to a state.

You fall into the classic and dangerous chasm of Jewish self-hatred and cannot, I am afraid, see the fascism and totalitarian-appeasement of your new bed-fellows. You ought to be ashamed and write no more until your mind is free of egregious nonsense.
Then the guy signs off as Baruch Spinoza. Well this Baruch Spinoza is no rationalist philosopher. It is none other than Old Nick himself or someone very close to him.

Let me explain. Down the right hand side of the screen I have a tracker. It tells me where hits have come from, the IP addresses of the computers that were used and other stuff like country, town, etc. So if someone comes here by looking up, say "Nick Cohen" on google, my tracker will tell me so and I can find whatever the user found on google if I click on the link within my tracker. Well Nick Cohen too has a tracker (only his is hidden) and tracked a hit on his site back to Jews sans frontieres. He then left the outrrageous comment above. I got the IP address, not from my tracker actually but from haloscan (the comments facility) and looked it up on the IP locator of my tracker. The comment was so nutty I thought it had come from America so I was surprised to see that it came from London. It showed the link to the site where the hit came from and it was this:

Now if you click on the link you get a password dialogue box which means that Nick Cohen's tracker is password protected. Which in turn suggests that only he, or someone close to him, can use it. So was it you Nick or did you phone a friend?

What is so bizarre is that he calls me "self-loathing." We had that abuse hurled at us last night at the cantata. It's something the hard right likes to throw at people they consider to be insufficiently patriotic. It's something Jewish zionists throw at Jewish anti-zionists when they seek to, er, "close down debate or discussion they disagree with." But Old Nick Cohen went to eloquent lengths to deny being Jewish in a recent article and he's accusing me of self-hatred. Chutzpah on wheels!

Anyway, here's my response:
Not sure what you mean by sophistry here.

You'll have to explain the allegation of anti-semitism. Everyone I was with last night wanted equality not supremacy or inferiority.

You'll have to give some examples of "classic" self-hatred and explain why opposing a colonial settler state based on ethnic cleansing and segregationist laws is fascistic.

I'm sure "egregious" is a good word to use, I've seen Norman Finkelstein use it but I still haven't got round to looking it up.

Anyway, you're not Nick Cohen are you?
There are other comments too but my favourite is this:
I am not a member or supporter of the SWP and supported those who criticised its invitation to Gilad Atzmon. I am also not a member of Respect, and have always had the gravest suspicions of George Galloway.

However I have never seen any remark attributed to Galloway which could reasonably be interpreted as antisemitic. And on the two occasions I have heard him speak - once at a student meeting in Birmingham and once at a Stop the War meeting in Oxford - he launched a ferocious attack on questioners from the floor who made remarks that did appear antisemitic.

Some do accuse both Galloway and Respect and the SWP of opportunism in their attitude to Islamic fundamentalism and to some reactionary Arab regimes, as well as of communalism in their approach to elections.

Whatever the truth of the accusations, even if true they do not amount to antisemitism.

Some try to portray the SWP and Galloway as heirs to Oswald Mosley; for example the increasingly fruitcake 'democratic imperialists' at Harry's Place and the professional McCarthyite political thug Oliver Kamm, not to mention Jim Denham, the AWL's hysterically hyperventilating drag act imitation of Melanie Phillips.

They are all guilty of a variety of gutter politics which actually obscures any legitimate political criticisms that may, or even must, be made of those they target.

And it is surely the ultimate in chutzpah for someone repeating these politically illiterate hysterics to assume the name of an earlier Jewish heretic, who was a spectacular victim of persecution by the Jewish establishment of his day.
Get that Nick Cohen or friend of? How dare you assume the mantle of Baruch Spinoza whilst trying to "close down debate"?

UPDATE: It definitely was Nick Cohen. I just got this from his site: was launched in October 2005. The pages are maintained by Nick himself, based on a design by James Pittendreigh. The site is hosted and published by Tom who would like to thank Steven Thurgood and Neil Levine for their generous support.
I have tried writing to him and posting comments to his blog but he has now closed down his comments. And this from the man who came to my blog to denounce "Galloway's disgusting, viscerally antisemitic mob, who do everything to close down debate or discussion they disagree with." So, being kind, let's assume that the closure of his comments facility is a little glitch that had nothing to do with the great open debater himself.

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