In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
I was labelled as such yesterday by Andy Newman and his comrades at Socialist Unity by merely posting the following message beneath their cross-post of Newman’s CiF essay on Gilad Atzmon.
The blog I manage, CiF Watch, just posted an essay on your recent critique of Gilad Atzmon.
If you’re interested in reading it, here it is.
The post I linked to, by Hadar Sela, “Andy Newman’s Socialism of Fools: The remarkable staying power of leftist antisemitism“, called out Newman for the inherent hypocrisy of his criticism of Atzmon’s antisemitism in the context of Newman’s own associations with Islamist, and Islamist friendly, groups which oppose Israel’s very existence, and advance unambiguously antisemitic agendas.
Sela also observed the cynicism of Newman’s agenda, as not informed by a sincere opposition towards antisemites, per se, but only those, like Gilad Atzmon, whose anti-Jewish rhetoric is so extreme as to hurt the Palestinian cause.
I later checked my comment at Newman’s site for any feedback and saw this:
Apparently, the word “inflammatory” for the socialist clique which Newman associates includes any commentary which goes against established anti-Zionist leftist orthodoxy. Such views are clearly counter-revolutionary and therefore outside the realm of acceptable debate.
My comment, however, did elicit the following from Newman, who posted this below my deleted post.
You need to be a special type of idiot to think that my article is evidence that I am equivalent of Nick Griffin.
You also concentrate on the words “far right” that I have already explained was inserted by the Guardian editors.
And clearly in your book ALL solidarity with the Palestinians or political disagreement with Zionism is anti-semitic; making you a zealot of the most extremist stripe
So, just how zealous is CiF Watch?
Well a clue can be found in a recent piece at Socialist Unity criticizing both our friends at Harry’s Place – a blog which exposes totalitarian, pro-Islamist and antisemitic tendencies on the left (such as Socialist Unity) – and CiF Watch.
“Harry’s Place also served as a catalyst for the launch of CiF Watch, a website allegedly dedicated ‘to monitoring and exposing antisemitism on the Guardian newspaper’s ‘Comment is Free’ blog’. However, as with Harry’s Place, its main task appears to be to be the smearing of anti-Zionists and voices critical of Israel.”
The post – after condemning Harry’s Place as “Islamophobic” for “smearing” the honorable George Galloway, Ken Livingstone, Jenny Tonge, Medhi Hassan, and Seumas Milne – added:
“It [Harry’s Place] is a sewer of racism and reaction that is committed to providing unfailing support to a state, Israel, which is engaged in apartheid and ethnic cleansing in Palestine.”
In the exquisite moral inversion which informs Andy Newman’s politics, those who call for the elimination of the world’s only Jewish state, and consistently espouse Judeophobic narratives, are progressives in good standing, while those who oppose such dangerous bigotry are reactionary and racist.
As Hadar Sela observed:
[Zionism] is the (still, for some) ‘radical’ notion that Jews are equals and that as such they are, like any other nation, entitled to dictate their own destiny through self-determination. A Left which is anti-Zionist is a Left which denies the right of Jews to that equality, and therefore racist.
This is undeniably the racist left which Andy Newman inhabits.
- Andy Newman’s socialism of fools: The remarkable staying power of leftist antisemitism (cifwatch.com)
- CiF piece critical of Gilad Atzmon elicits storm of antisemitic reader comments, including organ theft libels (cifwatch.com)
- Legitimizing antisemitism: Guardian provides platform to Alison Wier, blood libel promoter (cifwatch.com)