Socialist activist receives public apology from the Times and columnist David Aaronovitch.

I was especially pleased that Tony Greenstein, who is a tenacious fighter for the rights of the unemployed and the Palestinians, has managed to force an apology out of the London Times and its columnist David Aaronovitch . Both played a part in an attempt to smear Tony as a racist and anti semite when they allowed Aaronovitch’s Times Blog to be used as the vehicle for derogatory and untrue remarks about Tony Greenstein. Unfortunately for them Greenstein noticed the Blog was moderated thus the offensive comments in question could not have appeared on the Times web site without it being authorized by either Aaronovtch or a Times employee who had been delegated to moderate the blog. Hence Tony put to good use the legal degree he was awarded long ago but had kept in his back pocket for situations when the gofers of Capital forget their manners.

The funny thing is I myself had a similar incident only this week when someone posted a comment on the excellent Cedar Lounge Revolution* blog claiming I had published racist comment on Organized Rage. Fortunately for me the blog master at CLR immediately checked out whether there was any truth in this individuals claim and when he found there was not he removed the offensive comments forthwith.

However I understand Tony’s plight and congratulate him for not letting the matter lie, not least because I have noticed a tendency by some of the left’s political opponents to smear leftists in the comment sections of blogs, in the full knowledge that these comments will go into the internet archive and gain a life of their own. Neil Clarke** has fought successfully a running battle with right wingers who made an attempt to smear him with his employers etc. This type of behavior is especially prevalent amongst the more disreputable Zionist organizations and as Tony is as I have said a tenacious battler alongside the Palestinians he would undoubtedly have come within their sights. As the leftist slogan goes a victory for one is a victory for us all.

David Aaronovitch public apology to Tony Greenstein,

“ At the beginning of July, an item was posted on my weblog which stated that Tony Greenstein had been “intimidating” or “harassing Jew s’ at NUS conferences for 30 years. Tony Greenstein believed that this accused him of committing an offense of incitement to racial hatred under s.3A of the Race Relations Act 1976 and that it also implied that he is anti-Semitic.
While Tony Greenstein and I have had our differences, notably at NUS conferences, neither I nor The Times meant to suggest that he has been breaking the law for thirty years or that he is anti-Semitic. Our apologies for any embarrassment caused.”




Filed under blogging, Organized Rage, smear-campaign., socialists, The-press

5 responses to “Socialist activist receives public apology from the Times and columnist David Aaronovitch.

  1. CharlesPottins

    I agree with you Mick, I too was pleased to see this and to know that columnists like Aaronovitch will have to think twice before just giving space to these kind of smears which we are all too useful from the Zionist camp.
    I understand the Times had to pay an appropriate sum at Tony’s request to the Friends of Bir Zeit University, which is poetic justice!
    I see the Independent Police Complaints Commission has also upheld complaints by Tony Greenstein and others over the way Brighton police handled a demonstration over Lebanon, and tried to smear the organisers. It seems Tony is taking this further.
    I’ve known Tony Greenstein for years, often disagreed with him, but these are not just gains for him but for all of us, and ought to leave no doubt what side he is on. I was saddened therefore that some dubious characters are being permitted to attack Tony’s reputation through places like Cork PSC website, apparently exploiting ignorance to smear him as some kind of ally of the pro-Zionist Engage and so on. This would be a joke to anyone who knows how Zionists like Engage hate Tony G. But the fans of Gilead Atzmon (as wonder-rabbi not sax player) and the Nazi apologist Paul Eisen seem to believe that the bigger the lie the more they can get away with it. Who they are working for we might conject.

  2. WorldbyStom

    I’d second what you say Mick. Tony Greenstein is a very nuanced person who has never been afraid to enunciate his entirely principled own beliefs which eschew Zionism but also to stand up when anti-semitic statements have been made and call people on it… which in a way is the point Charles Pottins also make. (incidentally, let me also say I knew that you would never say anything racist). Incidentally, is it just me, or has Aaronovitch just got more and more disappointing as time goes on?

  3. Tony Greenstein

    Thanks to Charlie and Mick and worldbystom for your kind comments.

    It was good to get The Times to retract what it had said. I’m still awaiting the cheque for FOBZU but when they finally get the legal formalities over and done with (I won’t bore you with the details of Tomlin Orders!) then it will be handed over to FOBZU which does wonderful work helping Palestinain students to study at Bir Zeit university.

    I’ve known Aaronovitch a long time, from NUS days, and he hasn’t changed a great deal from Stalinist to a supporter of War (or humanitarian intervention as he would put it). He did in fact write an article in The Times about 2 years ago and it was about as honest as… the Richard Littlejohn programme on anti-Semitism in which I was interviewed (ok, I drew the short straw). He used the article to label all anti-Zionists as equivalent to Atzmon. What made this even worse, and of course the SWP’s relationship with Atzmon gave him all the evidence he required, is that he quoted from a personal e-mail that Atzmon had sent to me in June 2005 stating, in response to my criticism of his distribution of Paul Eisen (of Deir Yassin Remembered) pamphlet Holocaust Wars (a fulsome and gushing tribute to neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel) that if he ever saw a ‘great text’ from me he would distribute it to. Aaronovitch quoted the e-mail but conveniently omitted who it had been sent to and what the recipient’s politics were. Dishonesty or what? I’ve e-mailed him about this but he has remained uncharacteristically silent.

    The person who posted the item on Aaronovitch’s blog, Mike Ezra, is a well known Zionist fruitcake and resident of harry’s place. He is also a friend and drinks buddy of Gilad Atzmon! Which is probably why he is keen to defend Rudolph Kastner, the leader of Zionism in Hungary who did a deal with Eichmann – save the ‘prominents’ as he called them (1684) and I will say nothing to the half a million Hungarian Jews who were transported to Auschwitz between May 15 and July 9 1944. Collaboration is a way of life for these people.

    Wonderful victory in Brighton against the Police. We have won in total 3 appeals to the Independent Police Complaints Commission concerning their harassment of the demonstration against the bombing of Lebanon and I still have an assault and battery case outstanding in the civil courts.

    Mick was active as a supporter of Irish Republicanism and I, in my own minor way was also a supporter. When I visited northern Ireland as part of a Labour party delegation, we went to also visit the UDA in East Belfast – led by Andy Tyrie and John MacMichael. The Loyalists were happy to proclaim their support for Israel, a bastion of the fight against ‘terrorism’. That really was all that needed to be said because as Ronald Storrs, Military Governor of Jerusalem in the 1920’s said in his book Orientations about why the British were supporting the Zionists, that in Palestine they would create ‘A Jewish State will be for England a little, loyal Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism.’

    This was ‘socialist’ Zionism in practice!

    i won’t say much about the Atmonites other than that they trade on peoples’ despair about what is happening to the palestinians. It is ‘the Jews’ rather than Bush, Blair, imperialism etc. that is to blame. They are really a reflection of the racism of Zionism which is why they get on so well with Zionists, to whom they are no threat. They are however succeeding in spreading their poison and people need to be aware of the fact that they are a danger.

    E.g. Indymedia, the ‘radical’ grassroots site hosts many of his articles. And the Cork PSC site has allowed one of its ‘editors’ Paul de Rooij, an Atzmon/Eisen (an open holocaust denier) to deface a page with my articles making silly assertions such as I am closer to the anti-Engage (anti-academic boycott group) group when it is actually Atmon who opposed a boycott!

    Incidentally I asked that if they were going to put this idiot’s comments on the front page then I would like them to take down the whole page. they have refused. So they want my articles (not surprisingly since they can’t write anything worthwhile of their own) but they are happy to libel the author!

    Tony G

  4. blackstone

    Very interesting story, i haven’t heard about it until now. Glad to see things are gettin straightened out, another battle won!

  5. David Lindsay

    See my blog for new prosals re: working-class representation.

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