An interesting phenomenon took place a couple of weeks ago at the Huffington Post. David Harris, Executive Director of the AJC, wrote an article specifically responding to the below the line commentariat of a piece on Israeli airport security that he wrote a few days earlier.
Here, in the wake of the Christmas-day terrorist attempt, I thought I was writing about enhancing our flight security by seeing what we might learn from Israel, a country with its own share of experience in this area.
It turns out, instead, that for some readers my last piece, posted December 31, provided a handy excuse to unleash their unbridled hostility toward Israel.
What Harris describes is an all too familiar scenario at “Comment is Free” whenever a pro-Israel contributor challenges the conventional wisdom of the Guardian World View. One of the worst examples of this was witnessed last year when Sir Harold Evans wrote an article critical of the Goldstone Report resulting in the unleashing of a vitriolic attack that would put your typical Stormfront thread to shame.
To their credit the HuffPo afforded Harris a right of reply “above the line” to address the barrage of anti-Israel bigotted commentary.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Matt Seaton affording a similar right of reply to David Hirsch to address the below the line bigotry that was generated in response to Hirsch’s measured critique last week of Yoav Shamir’s documentary, Defamation.
Somehow though I don’t see this happening. It would for one thing constitute an acknowledgment that there is a problem with antisemitic commentary below the line, something which Guardian management has difficulty in admitting.
Anyway, to see how how Harris responded to his “chorus of critics”, click here.