Stephen Pollard and Freedom of Speech

February 04, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Maybe in Pollard’s universe, freedom of speech is an exclusive realm. 

Maybe in Pollard’s universe, freedom of speech is an exclusive realm.

 

February 04, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Maybe in Pollard’s universe, freedom of speech is an exclusive realm.

By Gilad Atzmon

Stephen Pollard, the caricature of an editor for the rabid Zionist Jewish Chronicle, an outlet that operates as an Israeli mouthpiece and has openly waged intense campaigns against freedom of speech, has once again expressed his support for elementary rights including the right to offend. In today’s Daily Mail Pollard writes: “Snowflakes? They’re today’s fascists!” Pollard often champions ‘freedom of speech.’ This time he probably tries to gain credit with the PM office following the attack on Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg as he attempted to give a talk to students at Bristol University.  I need not mention that I didn’t see Pollard or the JC denouncing Zionist hooligans who interfered with my right to play Jazz. Nor did I see the JC or Pollard fight for Alison Chabloz‘s right to perform her cabaret. Maybe in Pollard’s universe, freedom of speech is an exclusive realm.

And when Pollard writes “through editing the newspaper (JC), I am confronted daily with the legacy of that unique evil, including the suppression of debate, the distortion of truth and even the burning of books at the heart of that terrible chapter in our history,” it is hard to figure out whether he describes the “Third Reich’s totalitarian impulse” as he calls it, or his own editorial decisions. After all, before my literature event at Reading International Festival two months ago, Pollard’s Jewish Chronicle published the following headline: “ ‘Horror’ over appearance of Gilad Atzmon at Reading International Festival”

Pollard’s JC  wrote,  “Berkshire Jews  are ‘horrified’ over the scheduled appearance of an antisemitic author at the Reading International Festival.”  Is this how Pollard defines ‘welcoming debate’? In my universe the above line fits nicely within ‘suppression of debate’ and is an extreme form of book burning! I can see a clear contradiction between Stephen Pollard ‘the advocate of freedom of speech’ and the outlet which he edits that employs every trick in the Hasbara book to close debate on Israel, Zionism, Jewish ID politics, Jewish lobbying and the Holocaust.

Pollard, writing today in the Daily Mail, makes a surprising pivot and repeats the arguments I raised in my recent book Being in Time.  “We are now witnessing our own version of Newspeak, in which a form of cultural fascism masquerades as caring concern.” In November Pollard’s paper campaigned to suppress a proposed debate on my book and now he repeats the message of that book almost word for word. But, in my opinion, Pollard makes an error in his use of terminology. It is not ‘cultural fascism’ that introduced the current tyranny of correctness. It was cultural Marxism, a bunch of post Marxist tribal ideologists who thought and still think that it is down to them and only to them to decide who deserves a platform and what are the boundaries of freedom

Listen to Stephen Pollard in advocacy of ‘freedom of speech.’ His point seems to be; ‘You can say whatever you see the need to say as long as I can denounce you as an anti-Semite, a racist and a bigot.’

 

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And Speaking of Banned and Challenged Books…

A few days ago I posted an article about children’s books by Jewish authors, a disproportionately high number of which were found by Andrew Joyce, the writer of the article, to have been included on a list of “banned and challenged books” that is yearly maintained by the American Library Association (ALA).

Not long after I posted the article, a friend sent me an email about the children’s book you see above.

P is for Palestine has not, at least as of yet, made the ALA’s list, although that could be because it was only published this past November. Yet assuredly the book has been challenged (rather persistently), and may possibly have been banned in certain places as well. It is not currently available, for instance, at either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The only online retailer that appears to be carrying it is Etsy.

According to Joyce, the books published by Jewish authors and which made the ALA’s list were found to have been objectionable by parents and school officials mainly due to their sexual content. For instance, one of the books he talks about, It’s Perfectly Normal, contains graphic illustrations of people engaging in sex acts. The book, which has been made available to ten-year-olds, has a section explaining that sexual intercourse “can involve the penis and the vagina, or the mouth and the genitals, or the penis and the anus.” Not surprisingly, the inclusion of the book in public school curricula has sparked considerable protest.

P is for Palestine has also sparked protests–but for an entirely different reason.

In November of 2017, shortly after the book’s release, a number of New York City Jews launched a campaign against a local bookstore after it scheduled an event featuring a reading and book signing by the author. The following was reported by the website Palestine Legal:

Last week, a popular independent book store in New York’s Upper West Side, Book Culture, received calls to censor and denounce a children’s book, P is for Palestine, after the book’s author, Professor Golbarg Bashi, publicized an event at the store on an Upper East Side mother’s blog.

I haven’t actually seen a copy of the book, but apparently it does not include any graphic depiction of the human anatomy or sex acts. On the contrary, like many children’s books, it attempts to expand children’s vocabularies by presenting them with words beginning with different letters of the alphabet (this I do know from reading the reviews). And the chief complaint from Jews who have gone ballistic over the issue is the “I” word–intifada.

“I is for Intifada, Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or a grownup!” reads one section of the book.

Additionally, there is a section reading, “J is for Jesus,” which probably also doesn’t sit too well with the kosher critics.

“We forcefully reject Palestinian efforts to persuade us that ‘intifada’ has a peaceful connotation,” wrote three rabbis in an open letter posted on the website of a local synagogue after the controversy erupted. “These are apologetics, at best, and more likely, attempts to confuse, whitewash, and distort. It is easy to philosophize from afar about the Arabic origins of the word ‘intifada’ if you have never experienced its murderous wrath or lived under its constant violent threats.”

Besides all the venom-spitting over the book, the article in Palestine Legal goes on to report on threats to block the store, Book Culture, from participating in an upcoming book fair sponsored by a local synagogue. The piece was published November 29, but on December 4, an update was posted noting that the store’s owners had been “forced to put out a statement which says that they do not endorse boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns for Palestinian rights, that they support Israel’s right to exist, and that they oppose terrorism.”

The statement issued by the store reads as follows:

  1. We regret that we did not fully appreciate the political or communal ramifications of the children’s book P is for Palestine by Dr. Golbarg Bashi, nor did we anticipate the pain and distress it has caused in our community. We now understand these much better.
  2. We oppose terrorism or other forms of violence perpetrated against Israeli civilians during the intifada or thereafter. Any impression from the book to the contrary is not our view.
  3. We support Israel’s right to exist.
  4. We do not endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

In addition to the above written statement, one of the store’s owners, Chris Doeblin, produced an outpouring of contrition in an interview with a local media outlet–in an article headlined, “Rabbis and Bookstore Owner Break Bread After Split Over Palestine Book.”

The store, we are told by Palestine Legal, was finally allowed to participate in the book fair.

The author of P is for Palestine is Goldbarg Bashi, an Iranian-Swedish woman who formerly taught at Rutgers University. You can visit her website here. In a Facebook post in late November she talks about death threats and other hostile communications she has received since the release of her book. Here is an excerpt:

A small but very loud minority have accused my book of very serious but false charges. It is important for me to note, once again, that their disproportionate backlash against my book and my person (resulting in death threats, devaluing of my social-impact business) was initially to the mere title of the bookPalestine they claimed does not exist, even though the UN and scores of legitimate nation states on our globe recognize Palestine as a country, and how dare I (read an Iranian, or Muslim, or Arab, or Palestinian woman) publish such a book in “their” city New York.

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, and in the Palestinian context the letter I most certainly stands for Intifada, as does B for BethlehemC for ChristmasJ for JesusF for FalafelK for KuffiyaN for Nazareth and so on.

Intifada means resistance and resilience against the global and the UN condemnation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine—it is a daily component of Palestinian life that is manifested in carrying the signs and symbols of Palestinian life with pride—carrying a Palestinian flag, wearing a Palestinian dress, cooking a Palestinian dish, protecting a Palestinian olive tree from being bulldozed etc are all examples of Intifada.

It would be irresponsible of an author of a book for Palestinian children (or e.g. Native American children) to ignore or whitewash the fact that their people have a resistance movement, most of which is manifested in peaceful protest—I have written a loving book for real Palestinian children with some of whom I grew up in a Swedish refugee camp—along with many other refugee children from around the world. My sense of moral responsibility emerged in those refugee camps not among the self-proclaimed powerful neighborhoods of New York City who racially-profile me, incite hatred and violence against my person and my social-impact start-up, and issue edicts to boycott and shut down bookstores for having dared to sell world’s first English language alphabet book on Palestine.

I wonder how many of the Jews who have gotten so upset over P is for Palestine, became equally as worked up over It’s Perfectly Natural.

Something tells me probably not many.

And I wonder how many of those who take such offense at the word “intifada” have ever bothered to go out and protest against any of  Israel’s murderous campaigns in Gaza?

Again, something tells me probably not many.

Whether the book P is for Palestine has specifically been banned from Amazon and Barnes and Noble I can’t say. All I know for sure is that as of this posting it is not available at either (unlike It’s Perfectly Natural, which is available at both). Certainly it’s possible that the author, for whatever strange reason, chose not to sell it through these two major online dealers.

But a question very much worth pondering at this point is whether any of this will be mentioned by the American Library Association when it publishes its next list of the most “banned and challenged books.”

And once again…though I hope I’m wrong…I have a feeling I know the answer to that as well.

Jens Wernicke –Another Jerusalemite to the list

B is for Book Burners

November 23, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

book burners.jpg

The New York Daily News reports that Leaders of a prominent West Side synagogue are threatening to cancel a book fair next month unless a nearby store ditches a pro-Palestine children’s book.

P is for Palestine” teaches children the alphabet using Palestinian references. But Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch  (photo above) of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue said it also glorifies violence.

“The book states that ‘I is for Intifada,’ Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grownup!” Rabbi Hirsch said in an open letter posted on the temple’s website. “The intifada was not ‘a rising up for what is right.’ It was a mass descent into immorality.”

It would be helpful if the Rabbi explains to us how a popular uprise against a brutal racist occupier is ‘immoral.’  I would also like to learn from the rabbi whether book burning is a reform Jewish value, it has clearly become a popular exercise.

The book “P is for Palestine” is on sale at the Book Culture bookstore on Columbus Ave. on the Upper West Side.

Or buy online here 

Roger Waters Discusses BDS, Attempts to Block His Current US Concert Tour

Posted on 

Roger Waters’ “Us and Them” tour is scheduled to perform this Friday and Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum, on Long Island, in Uniondale, New York. Apparently Nassau County officials have backed down on their plans to shut down the show (see article below). Waters was interviewed on “Democracy Now” with Amy Goodman and co-hosts.

Roger Waters Shows Will Go On Despite Nassau County Anti-BDS Law

Gothamist

The New York Civil Liberties Union is urging lawmakers in Nassau County to repeal a bill denying county contracts to any companies participating in the Boycott, Divest and Sanction [BDS] movement, which seeks to pressure Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“Nassau County cannot be in the business of telling people what to say or think,” Susan Gottehrer, the NYCLU’s Nassau chapter director, wrote in a letter to County Executive Edward Mangano on Monday. “The BDS movement is a form of protected political speech.”

The letter comes in response to County Attorney Carnell Foskey’s threat to take “appropriate legal action” against the Nassau Events Center (NEC) if it does not cancel upcoming concerts by Roger Waters, a vocal BDS supporter and longtime critic of Israel’s settlement expansions. During a Facebook Live chat in July, Waters said that he expected the county’s attempts to fail.

“You would have to tear up the Constitution of the United States of America, particularly the First Amendment, and throw it into the Hudson River, or the East River if that’s closer, in order for that to happen,” he noted.

Just a week earlier, Nassau County Legislator Howard J. Kopel wrote in a Facebook post that “the Nassau County Attorney confirms that Roger Waters’ proposed upcoming tour dates at the Nassau Coliseum are indeed in violation of Local Law 3-2016.” That law was passed passed in 2016, one month before Governor Cuomo signed a similar order stipulating that any entity boycotting Israeli businesses would also be boycotted by the State of New York.

According to the NYCLU, the law itself is a violation of the constitution. “The law targets political boycotts, which the Supreme Court has long held as a form of political speech,” Zachary Ahmed, policy counsel at NYCLU, told Gothamist. “Here we had an example of the county threatening to enforce this law, and that’s what prompted us to respond.”

Asked to comment on the letter, the county attorney said that they would not be pursuing legal action against the events center, after all. “After extensive legal review, we had determined that factual issues and a lack of legal precedent had precluded success if the County were to litigate,” the county attorney said.

Neither the attorney nor County Executive Edward Mangano responded to questions about whether the decision applies just to Roger Waters, or enforcement of the bill as a whole. The executive also did not respond to a question, initially posed by the NYCLU, about whether the county had previously enforced or threatened to enforce the anti-BDS law.

“As long as law remains on books, there’s a possibility that the county could enforce it against other businesses,” Ahmed added. “We believe that would be unconstitutional.”

Waters will perform at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum this Friday and Saturday nights.


To see “The Occupation of the American Mind,” narrated by Roger Waters,  click here.

“Folded Flags” by Roger Waters

UPDATE

Though unsuccessful at getting his venues shut down (at least so far), Jews nonetheless are holding protests at Waters’ concerts. According to a report in the pro-Zionist Washington Free Beacon, Stand With Us, along with another Jewish organization, identified as “Artists 4 Israel,” are planning to follow the tour from city to city. Their plans reportedly include setting up a 15-foot inflatable Pinocchio doll as well as deployment of a van with a billboard which reads, “”Roger Waters, Don’t Need Your Hate and Censorship Against Israel.” The article includes a quote from a Stand With Us official who smears Waters as an “antisemite” and a “bigot.”

 

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The remaining strike directly impacts SouthFront’s ability to provide exclusive content. We cannot more host live streams because our Youtube channel has a Community Guidelines strike.

Furthermore, it’s clear that a threat that SouthFront’s YouTube channel might be closed down or once again frozen (as a result of false flagging by the project’s ill-wishers or by ‘mistake’ of the Youtube system) remains while the channel still has one Community Guidelines strike.

ORIGINAL POST:

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On September 8, 2017, SouthFront’s war report video “Syrian War Report – September 8, 2017: US-led Coalition Rescues ISIS Commanders From Deir Ezzor?” (You can watch the deleted video here) was removed because it allegedly violated “YouTube Community Guidelines”. The video included no graphic content, but was nevertheless flagged and deleted.

On September 6, 2017, SouthFront’s Youtube channel received a community guidelines strike when Youtube deleted our video “Foreign Policy Diary ‘War on Terror’ [remastered]” that was already reviewed by Youtube on February 15, 2016. (You can find more about the previous case HERE [strike added] and HERE [strike removed])

In Feruary 2016, the system deleted the video and the project channel received a community guidelines strike. However, the strike was removed after SouthFront’s appeal. The video remained deleted. SouthFront didn’t re-uplad the video.

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SouthFront faces systematic ‘false flagging’ on YouTube.

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Divide and Conquer: Keep the Goyim Fighting Each Other

Posted on August 28, 2017

The old “divide and conquer” strategy seems to be very much in play now. If the American people are riled up and divided to the point that they are battling each other in the streets, who do you suppose that might benefit?

Another street battle royale took place in Berkeley over the weekend. The “red scare” that swept America back in the 1950s seems mild in comparison to what we’re experiencing today. We have a mainstream media apparatus, owned by a handful of corporations, deliberately whipping up public hysteria over “Nazis” and “white supremacists.” These media corporations are “blessed” with Jewish CEOs and top executives (for the most part), though of course anyone with the temerity to point that out automatically gets accused of being a “Nazi” or a “white supremacist.” And just as in the 1950s, when many Americans were charged with being “communists” who decidedly were not communists, so today many many of our fellow citizens are being tarred as “neo-Nazis” or “white supremacists” who emphatically are neither. Though again, as I say, the anger we’re seeing today far exceeds anything we saw back in the fifties.

It is an anger that also defies the bounds of logic. We are living in a time now when you can be accused of being a “white supremacist” even if you are not white. This is the fate that has befallen some of the people in the video below. What we see and hear in this video are the voices of sanity–the kind of voices that are direly needed right now:

Voices of sanity–to be sure! Though sadly, they seem to be struggling to stay afloat in a sea of insanity. The above video was uploaded on Saturday. The following video came to be uploaded on Sunday, and in it we see Joey Gibson, the guy wearing the “Patriot Prayer” t-shirt in the video above, attacked by stick-wielding Antifa screamers, this during yesterday’s violence on the streets of Berkeley.

This of course needs to stop before the country is torn completely apart. But we are part of a pyramid, with powerful elites at the top who stand to benefit from keeping those at the base of the structure at each other’s throats…and for this reason things getting worse…rather than better…seems the more likely prognosis.

The following is a report from the Washington Examiner on yesterday’s violence in Berkeley. The writer makes some of the same points about people being mislabeled as “white supremacists,” and he also provides an analysis on the performance of the Berkeley police, accusing them of “neglect of duty.”

***

Berkeley Proves Liberals are Enabling Antifa Violence

By Tom Rogan

Once again, the supposedly anti-fascist Antifa movement has reared its violent black-cloaked head.

On Sunday, Antifa supporters attacked a group of conservative protesters in Berkeley, California who, to all appearances, have nothing to do with the white nationalism or supremacism of the group that marched in Charlottesville earlier this month.

YouTube is filled with videos from the event showing peaceful gatherers being accosted by weapon-wielding Antifa thugs. One video posted by Mother Jones reporter, Shane Bauer, shows a mob attacking a man as he curls up on the ground. In another video posted by the journalist Ziva Branstetter, Antifa protesters are seen chasing down two conservative marchers. None of these victims were affiliated with white supremacist groups.

I have two takeaways.

First, Sunday’s events are yet more evidence of an unyielding truth: Antifa are violent fascists, not anti-fascists. American-Antifa followers bear no hesitancy in replicating European “black block” efforts to conceal their identities and carry sticks as weapons. Unfortunately, many on the Left seem to quietly celebrate this unpleasantness: note that Bauer’s video of the mob attack received thousands of Twitter likes.

That’s a big problem, because Antifa’s violence isn’t just localized criminality. It is a coordinated assault on freedom of speech and thus fundamentally incongruent with the U.S. Constitution.

My second takeaway is the decision, as the San Francisco Chronicle’s Lizzie Johnson reports, of Berkeley Police to deliberately allow Antifa to attack the permitted protesters. The police defended this neglect of duty stating, “We made a strategic decision to move our officers, we also want people to freely assemble.”

But let’s be clear, this is a pathetic excuse, and we’ve been seeing a lot of it lately. The first responsibility of the police is public protection, and free assembly does not exist where it is subjugated to the whim of a violent mob. It’s not fair to blame the police alone — Berkeley’s notoriously liberal city government also shares outsize blame here. As in Charlottesville, it seems likely that the Berkeley city government pressured the police not to take action. After all, in the run up to the conservative protest, the city printed 20,000 leaflets implicitly blurring these protesters with those of the alt-right. Those leaflets read“Berkeley stands united against hate.”

That casual ignorance speaks to the broader issue: a growing understanding from many on the Left that any peaceable assembly they disagree with is illegitimate and unworthy of constitutional protection. Such thinking is exemplified by Mr. Bauer, who, in addition to posting the video of the mob attack, posted this tweet.

Continued here

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