December 11, 2012

Hasbara by smear sheet goes nearly viral as does the smearing of Ben White

The Israel advocacy sites are very excited about this hasbara smear sheet.  It's by someone who doesn't like people criticising Israel advising people who do like criticising Israel on How to Criticize Israel Without Being Anti-Semitic.  I already read it via the Fat Man on a Keyboard blog and left this comment:
The guide you recommend to Steve Bell is an obvious exercise in Israel advocacy designed to hinder not help critics and opponents of Israel.

The very first point is bogus. Very few people say that "Jews think any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic" but there are many Israel apologists who say that any criticism of Israel is antisemitic.

The rest of the points are pretty damn bogus too since they may or may not apply to a small minority of Israel's detractors but not to the majority.

Of course it is wrong to conflate Jews, zionists and the State of Israel but since the guide does that in the first point, who's lecturing who here?

The glossing over of what zionism means is intended to justify the ethnic cleansing and other war crimes which the implementation of the zionist project has entailed. It's pointless now getting into what zionism could have meant before the State of Israel was established, except as an academic exercise in which case we might discuss feminism and futurism as early aspects of fascist ideology.

I'm not sure where the guide gets the idea that religious settlers are anti-zionist. Not all frummers are the same. It seems the writer just wants to say zionism is nice and that's that.

The middle part of the document is a self-contradictory mishmash. It correctly states not to get hung up on the ethnic heritage of the Jews and then does so itself by invoking historic or ancient claims.

The last few points appear to be straight denunciations of antisemitism that are routine in Palestine solidarity circles. If the denunciations of antisemitism from anti-zionist sources are genuinely not known about then it could simply be that too much fretting about a marginal prejudice like antisemitism is unseemly up against what the Palestinians have been going through this past several decades.
As it happens the owner of the Fat Man blog seems like an eminently reasonable chap though my comment elicited quite a grumpy response.  But the other usual suspects are on the case too.  Engage has a separate post on it as does, of course, Harry's Place.  In fact HP took its cue from Bob from Brockley (I always thought it was the other way round) who touts it - typically - within a post where he also posts a rather nasty smear of Ben White by a blogger calling themselves The Soupy One:
Anti-Israeli boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigners often claim they against antisemitism and racism, yet their actions tell another story.
London BDS as an unfortunate habit of using material from the racist, Press TV.
Recently, they praised an article by Jim W. Dean.
Astute readers will know that Dean is intimately connected to the terribleVeterans Today, not only that but any cursory reading of the article would ring alarm bells amongst any antiracist, where he argues:
“Real historians like David Irving were attacked for printing the forbidden truth and made examples of to cower the rest of the sheep. And yes, Jewish lobbies had their fingerprints all over the dirty deed. “
If London BDS and other Western pro-Palestinian activists wish to be more convincing than they should stop digesting the racist filth that Press TV puts out.
Anyone ignorant of David Irving should read Holocaust Denial on Trial and theGuardian’s special report.
The SPLC on Veterans Today.
Update 1: The PSC have put out a statement distancing themselves from the @LondonBDS account:
“Palestine Solidarity Campaign is shocked and disgusted that a twitter account @londonbds tweeted an article with clearly anti-Semitic content. We oppose all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
Anti-racism is a core value of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and the broader Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. Palestinians face systematic discrimination and building opposition to all forms of racism is a key part of our campaigning.
Supporting Palestine is supporting an anti-racist struggle and we shall continue to make clear that there is no place for any form of racism in our movement.
PSC has been informed that this is not the twitter account of London BDS group, whose account is @londonbdsgroup, but an apparently lone individual. We have reported this to twitter as hate speech. “
All very laudable, however, the PSC is not adverse to the racist Press TV, as a matter of principle, any simple search shows that.
The rest of their statement is decidedly implausible, as anyone with access to Google can see.
Readers will remember how long it took the PSC to kick out a self-proclaimed Holocaust denier, Francis Clark-Lowes, from their ranks. Even then about 1/5 of the conference delegates did not think Holocaust denial was antisemitic and wanted to keep him as a member.
Moreover, the notorious Ben White saw no problem with the @LondonBDS ascan be seen.
My bet is their next gambit will be “Some of our best friends are….”
I checked out the comments policy of the blog before wasting my time commenting thus:
LondonBDS tweeted an antisemitic article and was condemned for it by PSC.  Your link in the line suggesting "London BDS as (sic) an unfortunate habit of using material from the racist, Press TV" doesn't say anything about LondonBDS or any other BDS unless in my skimming I missed LondonBDS being referred to by some other name..

And your evidence for "the notorious (ffs) Ben White saw no problem with the @LondonBDS as can be seen" is a tweet dated May 2008 which is simply addressed @LondonBDS but makes no value judgement one way or the other about it.  Even if you infer from it that he "saw no problem with" it in 2008, did you see a problem with it back then? I mean apart from the letters, BDS.  If so can you show what the problem was?  It is of course possible that Ben White thought @LondonBDS was @londonbdsgroup, same as you seemed to think when you started the post.

Also, are you saying that PSC has run antisemitic content from PressTV or just content from a TV channel that also runs antisemitic content?  I suspect, if it's true at all then it's the latter but perhaps you could confirm.

I left the comment before 3 this morning. I think it may have fallen foul of an unwritten part of the comments policy. But on the subject of viral smears we have one silly document by someone who doesn't want Israel criticised telling people how to criticise Israel and the people who like it are people who never criticise Israel. More specifically we have a blogger, The Soupy One, who feels that the smearing of Ben White has gone so viral no evidence is required to make a case against him. Still he (Ben) seems to be holding up well enough and I'm sure he'll have a nice Christmas, well I hope he does anyway.

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