Thursday, February 4, 2010

Correct Comment is Free. Not the Other Kind.

Geoffrey Alderman is a professor of history. has more than ten books of his on offer, and they cover an interesting range of subjects. He has published almost 80 articles on CiF; he also post comments there, unusual in that he uses his real name.

Not anymore, as he tells here.

In November, I accepted an invitation to write for CiF Watch a piece on Peter Oborne’s Channel 4 documentary Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby and on Tony Lerman’s defence of it on CiF.

I can now reveal that, within days of the publication of my critique, I received an email from the Guardian telling me that, if I dared to continue writing for CiF Watch, I would no longer be able to contribute to CiF. It was, I was summarily warned, “an either/or choice”.

I can further reveal that I have now been placed on a special list of persons whose CiF comments will be reviewed in advance of their online publication.

If you seek the honor of writing for the Guardian, you can't also write for their guardians. It's a democracy, not a free-for-all.

Or as Mondoweiss might put it, it's a war of ideas. You have to choose which side you're on. Truth? Independent thought? Diversity? Wot?


Sylvia said...

What puzzles me is why people who are pro-Israel are so determined to ensure the success of those Israel-can-do-no-right sites by clicking on them endlessly, hundreds, if not thousand times everyday. When will they understand that controversy and hate are the bait that keeps them coming back? Why not just boycott them instead and let them bore each other to death and watch them go under?

Anonymous said...

Free speech is one of my Catch 22s:
on the one hand I am glad that the Swastika and worse is banned in my country because inter alia it serves as a reminder that there is something which we ought to remember about ourselves.

On the other hand I think that off-limits like these induce groups to come up with languages/variations of their own which then are helpful to them in their bonding. Thus maybe the whole anti-zionist/anti-Israel rhetoric so beloved by self-professed tender-hearted Germans owes something to that quarter.

How the self-professed tough-hearted right maneuvers verbally I don't know, I would have to visit their sites as they have (as yet?) not managed much of mainstream presence but I am sure they have found ways like the young man I once saw on the street who had a neatly done swastika tattood on his neck. When asking around what one could do against it I learnt that the answer was nothing because in court he would claim to have been drunk at the time and therefore had no idea who the "artist" had been.

AKUS said...

I fear that you will never be asked to write for CIF, Yakov.

never mind - it is a badge of honor to be barred from that web-site.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Newspapers firing columnists because they side with other people who attack those newspapers.

When the paper is The Guardian and the journo is Geoffrey Alderman, you slam the former as an enemy of independent thought & diversity of views.

When the paper is the Jerusalem Post and the columnist is Naomi Chazan, your silence is deafening.

Yaacov said...

Akus - Sad, so sad. (That I won't be invited).

Fake Ibrahim - This time you're at least part way correct. I didn't write about the odd and probably wrong-headed decision of the JP. On the other hand, I generally don't read the JP, and certainly don't use them to figure out a particular frame of mind or way of thinking. They are openly right-wing, too much so for my taste. I'm not in the business of shooting down every possible example of ideological narrow-mindedness out there - for that I'd need thousands of blog posts daily, Ill bet. Why, if I knew the language, I'll bet I could even find some examples in whatever news rag you read, off near the edge of the world down there.

I follow the Guardian (and their ilk, such as Mondoweiss), so as to understand the antisemites.

BtW, if you ever want to read the Israeli newspaper with the highest quality of writing and thoughtfulness, you'll have to learn Hebrew and read Makor Rishon. Far more serious than Haaretz, say. The reason I don't read them is that they're so far to the right that I simply don't have the time for them.

Michael LeFavour said...

Why does Ibrahim the poser have Yaacov listed as a "team member" on his repository of ignorance he calls a blog?

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Long story, Michael LeFavour.

Anonymous said...

be nice with Mr. Fake -
I'd miss him, he has become really dear to me

and here you probably find the story how he earned his nickname
Personally I believe he also posed as a Brit by the name of Richard on this blog when it was all about Gaza - same style, same arguments - I've asked him again and again, he will say nothing, maybe he is shy.