|Max Blumenthal with Tucker Carlson on Fox TV; Stop The War vice president George Galloway; Baroness Jenny Tonge|
A couple of minor brouhahas have erupted in the small UK left social media galaxy this week, about topics I've been blogging about here over the years. This post is a quick set of links to stuff in my archive.
New Statesman economics writer, Novara media regular and Oxbridge Lexiteer Grace Blakeley this week endorsed - and then to her enormous credit swiftly withdrew the endorsement when his awfulnesss was pointed out - a new book by Max Blumenthal.Horrified to learn that @PoliticsProse is giving a platform to Max Blumenthal, a man who previously mocked Syrian children as they made makeshift gas masks to protect themselves against Assad's chemical weapons use (see screenshot), this week: https://t.co/3SbMhXuyfu pic.twitter.com/yeVZabIleM— Mai El-Sadany (@maitelsadany) March 31, 2019
Critics pointed to Blumenthal smearing civilian first responders in Syria, the White Helmets:
Blakeley said she hadn't read this bit before recommending it. The bits of his book smearing the White Helmets are on pp.207-218 of a 400 page book. The footnoted sources include Leith Fadel (mainly known for participating in a far right smear campaign against a Syrian refugee in Hungary, and for employing an Australian Nazi activist) and a bizarre sectarian pro-Assad crank on Twitter called @EHSANI22.Blumenthal’s racist smears against the White Helmets are contained within *the very book* you gushingly praised. If you don’t want to get called out, perhaps don’t praise such garbage. And yeh, hiding behind some spurious accusation of “chauvinism” is pathetic. pic.twitter.com/SaCGgOK9Dd— James Bloodworth ✍🏻 (@J_Bloodworth) June 10, 2019
Other critcisms could be made too:
Let's look at one paragraph from the book. In attempting to cast the initial 2011 uprising as Salafist, Blumenthal relies on an AfD activist (ref is the one numbered 160). pic.twitter.com/HXammAtDun— libcom dot org (@libcomorg) June 10, 2019
Since people are talking about Max Blumenthal again let's remember the time his podcast strongly suggesting that Iranian protesters were Saudi and Israeli assets. https://t.co/qqTjutcEIc— libcom dot org (@libcomorg) June 10, 2019
I've blogged about Blumenthal before. In this post and its follow-up I went through a number of claims made about him by anti-fascist researcher Alex Reid Ross. Some of the claims include: making false claims on Russian media, being praised by a far right terrorist who shot at Jews in Kansas, buying into a Duginist geopolitical vision, and becoming a convert to a pro-Putin worldview after attending an event at the Kremlin with Michael Flynn and Jill Stein, as well as smearing the White Helmets.
And in this post I look at Blumenthal's Islamophobic media project The Grayzone. And in this post I look at how his media commentary put a young journalist in prison in Nicaragua, in a smear amplified in the UK by The Canary. And here is the further reading I linked to before:
- Charles Davis: An Inside Look at How Pro-Russia Trolls Got the SPLC to Censor a Commie
- Joey Ayoub: List of rebuttals of Blumenthal on the Syria Campaign.
- Cody Roche: Syria: the alt-left and other lesser known extremisms.
- al-Hamra: Documenting Max Blumenthal’s Regime Change from Assad Opponent to Assad Apologist
Stop The WarThe soft left Fabians this week invited and then - again to their enormous credit - swiftly disinvited - a speaker to one of their events from the pressure group Stop The War.
Here are some of my blogposts about them:
- Syrian voices silenced by Stop the War (2015 - about the time they shut down Syrian speakers at their meetings about... Syria)
- "Mother Agnes" and "Stop the War" (2013 - about the time they invited a French war crime denier to speak)
- The conservatism of the anti-war "radicals" (2008 - about right-wing thinking in Stop The War)
- Censorship in Stop the War (2007 - about the time they silenced Iranian communists)
- Paul Canning: Have Stop the War Coalition finally jumped the shark?, 4 November 2015.
- James Bloodworth: Stop the War refuse to listen to Syrians during debate…on Syria, 4 November 2015.
- Syria Solidarity Movement: Statement on the upcoming Stop the War event at the House of Commons, 29 October 2015.
- Planet Syria statement on Stop the War, 28 August 2015.
- Leo Gibbons: Why I will never support the Stop the War Coalition, 29 December 2015
It also emerged this week that a local Fabian group also hosted Jenny Tonge, former Liberal Democrat peer and well-known antisemite, to one on of their meetings. She's someone I've blogged about in passing many times over the last decade.She is blind to her antisemitism. She denies it exists independently of the actions of Israel, and looks to blame the rise in Jew-hate on Israel. She has compared Israel to the Nazis (https://t.co/rM7UCmFEds) and blamed Jews for the Shoah (https://t.co/SODQPArZ9X)— Jack Mendel (@Mendelpol) June 11, 2019
Jenny Tonge blames Jews for antisemitism.— David Hirsh (@DavidHirsh) October 27, 2018
She's been doing this for years. pic.twitter.com/aKzE3WDuvf
And meanwhile I'd like to know why Jenny Tonge, a Lib Dem peer in the House of Lords - the Lib Dems btw, have always had their fair share of anti-Jewish racists - can say this and retain her seat there, as the implication of her question *is* just straightforward Nazism. pic.twitter.com/G4qRZ9zyJn— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) August 18, 2018