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.”