Monday, May 29, 2006

NATFHE boycott is on!

The National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) has this morning decided to boycott Israeli Academics who do not demonstratively oppose their government. The Union also congratulated Hamas (a proscribed terrorist organisation [Home Office]) on their electoral victory which has brought the Palestinians close to civil war [Aljazeera 5/18/2006 and Reuters 21/5/2006). There was significant opposition to the motion with the final vote being recorded as 106 for, 71 against with 21 abstentions.

While they may think of themselves as a powerful force of the British elite, in really British academics, or at least their unions, seem able only to create and foster divisions in society - both at home in the UK and in the Middle East. This boycott may only last until the merger in a few days time, but unless people speak out it will set an agenda of division and conflict for the UK, and promote War and the death of innocents on both sides in the Middle East.

With the merger British Academics can choose to put these Israel bashing attacks on academic freedom behind them. The question is, will they?

Please see the Academic boycott resource center for more information:

Friday, May 05, 2006

Impersonating Jews to be antisemitic

The idea of impersonating Jews in order to be antisemitic is not new. Infact this is a very well known tactic of antisemites made famous by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion... a publication allegidly by Jews, but actually put together by the Russian Secret service in order to trigger pogroms and other antisemitic actions.

On a student forum in the UK we've had someone by the handle of "People of the Book" pretending to be Jewish for quite some time. He (though they later suddenly claimed to be not only Jewish but female as well) took an extremely anti-Israel line and assured people Israel had nothing to do with Judaism. All this while claiming to be very religious and shomer shabbat... while posting just before midnight on a Friday evening. After a couple of long threads pointing out where this imposters posts contradicted, where they didn't know certain basic facts about Judaism etc they changed their handle.

Now (on the same forum) we've got a much more devious poster. This one is going for the Protocols approach. They've picked the name of an outspoke defender of Israel amd included details of the student Jewish Society in the handle just to make sure everyone got it. The real person they are impersonating has been persecuted both by anti-Zionist students and by an anti-Israel lobby group. What makes this so interesting is that now one of these people is literally putting works into this student's mouth. They start off with some rather blunt comments that are within the realms of possibility, then rapidly start saying Islaophobic things and justifying the position with very right wing material that is is likely to make almost all members of the forum (who are almost by definition left winger) see red. They start by having the "Jewish student" say:

"Jewish student": This is nonsense. Muslim students on campus have been responsible for hatred and attacks on Jews. It is a shame that the MCB who are the moderates are backing the extremists in our midst

This results in someone called "Muslim Sympathiser" saying

"Muslim Symapthiser":
well well well! look what the cat has dragged in. The Islamophobic student in Britain! I hope you are still enjoying your nomination for UK Islamophobe of 2005. Pity you didn't win, although the opposition was tough How are your friends at Front Page Magazine and The American Thinker btw?
The references are ofcourse to articles on the antisemitism at the real students university which these websites reported on. Luckily I managed to get an early post in...

Me: The person concerned has a personal policy of not posting on
here... so I would be very suprised if he's suddenly broken that to comment on
THIS story while ignoring all the other Israel related threads. So... which of
you clowns decided to post as him, and why didn't you at least put more effort
into it?
The impersonator now tries to neutralise this. They post as the Jewish Student again (no mention of their university Jewish society this time as every one will have seen that sign posting already):

The impersonator:
Shalom, Yes it is me posting! I just could not take this s*** no more about Muslim persecution at colleges. We Jewish students are being attacked: its disgusting. How dare anyone attack our right to defend our state and people? As you know from our personal discussions Muslims are evil and the biggest threat to Israel. Anyone who disagrees should read the link below Israel forever.

Related link:

At first it looks a little bit stupid to reply to me claiming "we" have had conversation that I know never took place. But this is not the point, he's not trying to convince me. Nor is he trying to convince other people that know the student he is impersonating. The author it trying to make it look like there is an anti Muslim element in the Jewish community. This would not only encourage pro-Muslim groups (like Respect) to turn a blind eye to the anti-Jewish rants of their Muslim allies, it would make at least some of them accept and join in these rants as justified. Further it would provide a degree of protection to some of the more radical and antisemitic Muslim groups (e.g. Hizb ut-Tahrir) as any claims against them will be returned with "But you're just as bad, look at that Jewish student!".

The comment that "Muslims are evil" is ofcourse Islamophobic, but why is it there? Again it's designed to get people's backs up. Particularly those on the left. They now have to side against the supposed Jewish student because he is clearly a "racist" (that Islam is a religion is besides the point). The author adds that Muslims are "the biggest threat to Israel" making his entire argument about Zionism rather than a response to the unrelated and unambigious antisemitism. A similar trick was tried on the forum a few days earlier when another poster accused Jews of being the Richest Faction and Controling the Media. When he was challenged he repeatedly tried to make it look like a disagreement on Israel / Palestine. He claimed the Zionists were trying silence him by calling him Antisemitic just because he critisised Israel. A bunch of leftists jumped to his defence then backed away as it was repeatedly pointed out that NONE of the threads in question had ANYTHING to do with Israel. This sentence like wise is designed to make it look like any critisism of those who will later attack the impersonator are no more than false cries of Antisemitism. "Israel forever" is designed to give the same impression. It also has a ring of Imperialism to it. And the link? The article is called "Why I write hard-hitting articles on Islam". It ends by saying "Aggressive Islam can also be challenged best by a well-explained and thoughtful Christianity" - definitly not something the real student would endorse, but the article is certain to be seen as an attack on Islam associated with them. And sure enough it is...

A poster called Muslim wrote:
ive got to say this is very funny. its the same
old stuff from you. were worse of, were being persecuted. please give us the
sympathy. we want a enquiry, why we never got kosher food, blah blah blah blah.
Ill attack youre so called state any time any where. im not even going to even
bother to comment on your last sentence it just shows what kind of person you
are you know i really feel sorry for the jews. its not the palestinains (muslims
and christians) who have lost most but it is really the jews. there faith has
been hijacked and taken over by a political idioligy. all i can say is freedom
for palestine and god help the jews.
And now the get out. In case Antisemitism is discovered, the left usually refuse to believe it could possibly come from them, with their strong anti-Racism credentials (on everything bar antisemitism in many cases). The best option therefore is to blame the right. The far right. The extreme left antisemitism borrows it's material from the extreme right in any case (a worrying trend in the UK).

I provided the get out by writting:
Dear all, The comments here were planted, there were NOT posted by the person they claim to be from, nor I expect by anyone Jewish. They are being used as an excuse to attack Jews in general. This last post amounts to saying "and now I supose you're going to accuse us of antisemitism" and belittleing the previous discrimination. Like another thread further down, this is again a case intentional antisemitism and intended cover up. Worse, the imposter also appears to be Islaophobic. I do hope
I'm not the only one who can see how serrious this is and can follow what "they"
(who ever these people / person is) are doing. Almost makes me wonder if we
don't have our BNP friends back on the forum.

Now after that we can all unite.

Muslim wrote:
well i gotta to say im glad this has been cleared up. both
sides were offended and its quite sad that somebody went to these lengths to do
so. whoever it was all i gotta to say is this isnt the way to make your argument
i guess we can end this post. peace