October 18, 2011
I was hoping to write about the Amnesty event Demolitions & Discrimination against Palestinian Citizens of Israel: The case of Al-Araqib but when I turned up last night I found I was on a banned list of six people because of someone’s comment on this blog.
Underneath my coverage of Amnesty’s event on 23rd May about Israel’s so-called control of the media Roberta Moore commented:
“My two cents:
This conference should have been cancelled.
There are ways to force people to cancel such conferences. Threaten to bring the EDL. It works. For those that do not work, we infiltrate and disrupt. (Like I did with the One Society many cultures).
Our passive protests are NOT working guys! We need to change tactics. I know and I have just the thing to disrupt such conferences and ensure everyone gets out of the room ;)
No one gets hurt.
We must use a new approach.”
In hindsight I should have moderated this comment due to the threatening insinuation. I usually try to moderate comments like this, but some I don’t moderate because someone may have already criticised the commenter. In this case someone did just that by stating immediately:
“I agree that more active protests are desirable. But not from the EDL.“
My hope was for more criticism of the EDL and its approach. But I do not believe that if the EDL was going to disrupt a future Amnesty event they would discuss it openly on my blog.
I think that most bloggers will accept it is quite a task moderating a blog and keeping an eye on every comment.
The last thing I would wish to do is to encourage any kind of disruption to an event.
But if you listen to the audio of my exchange with Tom Fyans, Amnesty’s Head of Campaigns, who was on the door to greet me, he was convinced that Roberta Moore and three of her associates, myself and Jonathan Hoffman were coming to disrupt the meeting.
Well, I have never disrupted an event before. And Roberta Moore and her three associates did not turn up last night.
As I made clear to Fyans I despise the EDL but he was trying to connect me and Jonathan to them on the basis that two or three of their members turned up to protest outside that same Amnesty event on 23rd May.
But how can I stop people turning up to protest?
I hope my being banned had nothing at all to do with my coverage of recent threatening behaviour and anti-Semitic ongoings at Amnesty including:
1. Middle East Monitor contributor Khalid Amayreh referring to Jews as “kike” on my blog Amnesty and Middle East Monitor’s Israel hatefest love-in while that event on 23rd May was presented by Middle East Monitor.
2. A lie that an Israeli soldier used a broken piece of glass to carve a Star of David into a Palestinian teenager’s forearm (the Star of David is too perfect and the plaster in the wrong place to cover the supposed wound). After that event Kristyan Benedict, also of Amnesty, physically threatened me. Amnesty never told me what happened to Benedict. Fyans refused to comment on it last night also.
Benedict is still working at Amnesty, while I cannot cover his ability to use Amnesty’s respected reputation to continuously attack Israel in a host of very unsavoury ways.
Meanwhile, the decision to ban me went straight to the top of Amnesty, it being rubber-stamped by Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK.