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Jumping in slightly late

On the grounds of ‘what goes around comes around’ [*], as well as on the general grounds of free speech, let me join the chorus of people supporting slightly demented Decent Left blog Harry’s Place in the libel suit that Hamas UK brought for calling them antisemitic.

Normally, calling somebody antisemitic is a pretty horrible libel and one of the few uses of the libel law that I’d suggest was justified; however, in the case of an organisation whose manifesto states that “the Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews…The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him“, it’s pretty much a fair cop…

[*] a long time ago, far away; if you don’t know, you don’t need to know.

  1. July 13, 2008 at 10:16 am | #1

    I read your post and wondered if I should support your position but then realised that I shouldn't take sides in this spat because I will have nothing to do with any of that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" rot. Frankly, it makes me feel utterly dirty to even read HP, let alone mention it in my own blog in any sort of supportive light. I have experienced quite abhorrent abuse from their commentators and refuse to endorse a site that plays host to such people in any way.

    Choosing to support one of either HP or this Sawalha character is like being asked to choose between being poked in the eye or kicked in the nuts.

  2. Mary Jackson
    July 14, 2008 at 8:16 am | #2

    Are you the same John Band that used to do Shot From Both Sides?

  3. July 15, 2008 at 7:17 am | #3

    Depends who's asking. Click this link for a clue.

  4. dsquared
    July 16, 2008 at 9:00 pm | #4

    strange – on the same general principle that "what goes around comes around", I find myself chortling every time I think of it. The great thing about the libel courts (as opposed to, say, a fistfight) is that it's not only possible for both sides to lose, it's the most frequent outcome.
    Harry's Place have been *so* irresponsible in chucking around very serious accusations for *so* long[1] that they must have known they'd get sued sooner or later.

    [1]In fact, I don't even regard them as a usable source of information about whether any person is a member of Hamas, because of their long-standing and proven inability to distinguish between the concepts "Mr X is a member of organisation Y" and "Mr X is a trustee of charity A which once made a donation to foundation B which sent a speaker to meeting C where Mr D was also speaking and Mr D wrote in journal E … [eternity] … who worked for company ZA which was set up by Mr ZB who was a member of ZC!". This bloke might be in Hamas or he might not but I wouldn't take David T's say-so.

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