Tony Greenstein | 25 January 2012 | Post Views:

Decision to Ban Holocaust Denial and anti-Semitism Bamboozles Harry’s Place

Or perhaps I should call it Hypocrites Place. Following the decision of PSC to expel one holocaust denier and confirm a ban on holocaust denial or anti-Semitism, Hypocrites Place is finding it difficult to get its message right.

On the one hand, there is resident liberal Sarah’s (all things are relative) Holocaust denier’s appeal fails to impress the PSC before managing to agree with her ultra-Zionist comrades. Then there is foaming at the mouth Joseph W who is obsessed by the 20% (in fact 17%) who didn’t vote to expel Francis Clarke-Lowes. Facts can’t be allowed to stand in the way of a good (or in this case bad) story, so this becomes 20% of PSC approve of holocaust denial.

Of course a child of 10 could work out that because you don’t want to expel someone, it doesn’t mean that you agree with them. When I pointed this rather obvious point out on HP, I discovered that the post soon disappeared. It was the first of three posts, so it wasn’t – contrary to Sarah’s suggestion – one of these things that happens in the ether. I had hit too close to home.

In particular I had illustrated what I was saying with a simple example. So simple that even the Hypocrites Place could get their heads around it. When I was a student, it was the Jewish or rather Zionist society at Sussex University, led by one David Cohen, which had opposed No Platform for Fascists and Racists, on the grounds of freedom of speech.

Of course Zionists have never been keen on things like anti-fascism but we never suggested that all or most of the Zionist Society were therefore signed up fascist supporters. They simply preferred supporting Israel and opposing anti-Zionism to fighting anti-Semitism and opposing fascism. So why should those who voted against Clarke-Lowes expulsion, primarily Stalinists of a bizarre North Korean loving cult, be classified as holocaust deniers when they have explicitly denied such a charge? Doesn’t make sense except for HPers who inhabit a parallel universe where the normal rules of logic don’t apply.

HP’s problem is that if Zionism = anti-Semitism PSC is already anti-Semitic. So why then should PSC take the time and trouble to formulate a policy on anti-Semitism and holocaust denial? Doesn’t make sense. Hence why it is easier to ban me from posting than answering awkward questions.

And there I was thinking that HP actually meant it when they quoted George Orwell to the effect that ‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.’ Of course Orwell was a socialist and anti-fascist. He fought with the semi-Trotskyist POUM in Spain but of course he was also an anti-Stalinist, not a crazy US neo-con.

HP now seem to have reinterpreted Orwell to the effect that ‘Liberty doesn’t mean telling Harry’s Hypocritical Place what they definitely don’t want to hear’ i.e. the truth!

I therefore sought an answer to this conundrum. Unless HPers are natural born liars, how can one explain this glaring contradiction between the banner headline and day to day practice? So I went off in search of HP’s comments policy, which only confused me even further. Under ‘Freedom of Speech’ we are told that HP:

‘believes in freedom of speech and open debate… It is our conviction that adults in a free society can discuss ideas openly without, generally speaking, the need for policing. We do not delete comments simply because we do not agree with them. We want a vibrant marketplace of ideas, not an echo chamber. It should be kept in mind however that marketplaces can at times be loud and chaotic. It is our conviction that the best way to deal with contrary views – even objectionable ones – is to challenge them, to argue, to criticise them or, in some cases, to treat them with contempt by ignoring them. This is how a free society functions…. it is better that a bad idea is exposed to the light of day. We cannot prepare ourselves for ideological battles against ideas that lurk in shadow and are transmitted in whispers.’

Fine sentiments indeed. Well that is clear then. HP is opposed to banning people ‘simply because we do not agree with them.’ Yet according to reliable reports HP has been subject of a US neo-con takeover, so like most things of the American Right, it has preserved the form whilst gutting it of all substance. Theoretically HP doesn’t ban people because of their ideas. In practice it has no choice given the level of debate and the quality of most of the posters.

But whilst I have been banned, a Zionist poster Lamia was able to post the following comment to Joseph’s The national PSC on Holocaust denial and Gill Kaffash

In response to a comment about ‘The UK has the problem of the British colonial attitudes to their former colonies. Actually Fabian, we have the problem of their attitudes to us.’ We have the following outpouring of racist filth:

‘Including Jews. The Pakistani immigrant population alone have contributed a great deal to the anti-Semitic ‘culture’ of the country. The jury’s out on whether they’ve contribute much else. Oh yes, I forgot: white-child prostitution rings. How wonderfully multicultural.’

Contrast this with e.g. the BNP’s Northern Ireland site. This too has a feature on white child prostitution with the banner headline ‘Nick Griffin has said it for years… now the media admits that Muslim Paedophile Gangs can no longer be ignored.’ Plus ca change.

Just as Hitler held that Jews were out to corrupt innocent Aryan girls, so HP’s contributors now label, BNP style, the Pakistani community as being responsible for (white) child prostitution rings. But whereas Lamia is welcome to continue posting his vile racist outpourings, with barely a tutter from people like the fragrant Sarah, anti-Zionist critics are regularly libelled and now banned for daring to provide an alternative analysis.

Actually I don’t give Sarah credit where credit is due. After saying that ‘Lamia – I’m not denying that antisemitism is more associated with some communities than others’ (really? I do you mean Muslims or non-whites in general?) she goes on to protest ‘but that seems a rather sweeping thing to say about people in the UK of Pakistani origin.’

Err yes, quite. It is rather sweeping. How about Jews are responsible for most financial crimes. Would that also be ‘rather too sweeping’ despite the fact that certain groups (Jews) are more associated with ‘swindling’ than others? Please do tell.

Tony Greenstein

Posted in

Tony Greenstein

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.