January 20, 2006

Rules of Engagement?

I've just stumbled on the zionist Engage website's guidance to commentors. Here:
The editors of Engage are looking to enforce a stricter policy in the comments boxes. We all had our fun over the holidays - but:

1 Comments will be posted if the editors think that they add something to the debate. Editors will make a judgment about the quality and relevance of comments. Editors will try to be consistent but will not always succeed. Commenters should not feel they have a right to have their comments posted - it is an editorial decision.

2 Engage is not primarily a forum for discussion of the Israel/Palestine conflict. Its focus is on antisemitism. Endless and in-depth discussion about why the peace process broke down, for example, are interesting and important - but are not the core business of Engage.

3 Short comments are more likely to be posted than long comments.

4 Reasoned argument is more likely to be accepted than insults and hype.

We very much encourage people to write longer pieces. These should be submitted as posts to alex@EngageOnline.org.uk for consideration.

posted by The Editor at January 15, 2006 08:59:06 AM
Now as I posted earlier, I posted a comment on their blog a few days ago now. The post was about a letter by a Cambridge Law and Philosophy professor, Matthew Kramer in which it was claimed that George Galloway is
a man who has made a number of anti-Semitic pronouncements in various settings. I shall be happy to supply you with relevant quotations. I should note that, when I say "anti-Semitic", I mean "anti-Semitic"; I do not mean "anti-Israeli" (though Galloway is of course implacably opposed to the state of Israel).
Now the guy said a lot of other things but as it says above
Engage is not primarily a forum for discussion of the Israel/Palestine conflict. Its focus is on antisemitism.
So I left a comment, or tried to anyway, asking what George Galloway has ever said that was anti-semitic. Sorry, but here's the exact comment again:
Here's a quote from the letter - "you are apparently intending to allow the Arts Theatre to be used as a platform by a man who has made a number of anti-Semitic pronouncements in various settings. I shall be happy to supply you with relevant quotations. I should note that, when I say "anti-Semitic", I mean "anti-Semitic"; I do not mean "anti-Israeli" (though Galloway is of course implacably opposed to the state of Israel)."

Leaving aside the fact that being anti the State of Israel doesn't make a person "anti-Israeli", does anyone have any quotations from Galloway that are anti-semitic? I remember the Galloway v Telegraph Group case when the Telegraph's barrister (I think he was a QC) tried to accuse Galloway of anti-semitism, the judge, Eady, upped the damages. Here.
It might interest people to know that when I asked that same question on this blog two days ago, out of 43 comments not one said what it was that George Galloway has said that was anti-semitic. Anyway, what aspect of Engage's rules do you suppose I broke? Add something to the debate? The debate, according to Engage, is anti-semitism. If Norman Geras or David Hirsh or anyone could come up with some quotes we could debate whether they're anti-semitic but we're not even allowed to ask for quotes and Engage doesn't seem to want to know. I didn't break rule 2. I didn't raise any issues about Israel/Palestine. I could have broken rule 3 but the bogus allegation doesn't actually appear on the Engage page - frightened of being sued perhaps. So perhaps it was too long. But I don't think that would be fair. How about rule 4? Reasoned argument, not insults. No insults by me. So what's going on at the Engage site. Who can participate in this debate on anti-semitism.?

Anyway, a friend of mine has now written to Professor Kramer to ask for the quotes he said he could provide. He referred my friend to the comments of Harry's Place on 6 December 2005. Don't laugh it's true. A Cambridge don has used, not just Harry's Place, but the comments at Harry's Place as source material. So there I've made it easy. Now find some anti-semitic quotes by George Galloway. The relevant post might be this one but I'm not sure.

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