A Message For ‘Reader X’ aka It’s My Blog And I’ll Ban Who I Want To!

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Is freedom of speech absolute?


Here’s a candid answer: not for readers of my blog.


I make no apologies for this stance. Only one person has total free speech in this particular arena – and that’s me!

 

I’ve been pondering  ‘freedom of speech’ because I stand accused of ‘blocking opinions differing from your own’. My accuser? A regular poster on Jew With A View that I’ve now had to, reluctantly, bar from posting full stop.

 
Of course, most bloggers ban those who submit abusive or racist comments. 
 
 
It’s just common sense. But what about banning someone who is usually polite..?
  
 
Is it ‘wrong’?  Does it ‘prove’ that I ban dissent, especially when it comes to the topic of Israel…?   I can’t respond privately to this person, hence this post.
 
  
Truth is, I welcome dissenting opinions. Genuinely. Blogging would be mighty dull if everyone who posted here was just echoing my views!


Nor do I claim to be ‘right’ in all I say. Indeed, if I make factual errors, I hope someone will correct me and I am most grateful when they do! Hell, I’m appreciative when anyone takes the time to post a comment, and I hope regulars especially, know this


Let’s call the person I’ve banned Reader X. He knows who he is. He’s posted many long comments on this blog and that was fine, though I passionately disagree with him. But as he seems a reasonably decent soul, and as he’s taken the trouble to express his views, I’ve welcomed his thoughts.

 

But here’s the thing. Everyone has the right to their own opinions.  But nobody has the right to their own facts. That’s where a line exists, and it can’t be crossed if one still wants any form of rational discourse.


The discrepancy between these two was illustrated vividly back in 2007 when Oxford University decided to allow known Holocaust Denier David Irving, and his fellow weasel BNP head Nick Griffin, to speak at the Union debate.

 

The move was publicly condemned by Jewish and Muslim students alike, along with anti facism activists and numerous politicians – several of whom cancelled membership of the Oxford Union as a result.

 

But Oxford Union was unrepentant. These two racist twits had, it declared, the right to ‘freedom of speech’.

 

Wrong.
 
  
What they had was  freedom of opinion. But that doesn’t mean any institution, let alone Oxford, should offer them a platform to spread their malice.
 

If Irving and Griffin wish to go around peddling their mad and subjective belief that six million Jews did not perish, that is their right to do so – within the confines of their homes and in hushed conversations with their fellow neo Nazis.

 

But once they start publicly twisting and misrepresenting objective facts in their bid to deny history, then no. A thousand times, no.  They don’t have any unconditional, inalienable ‘right’ to do that.  Nor did Oxford Union have any ‘duty’ to help them.

 

I have the right to declare a disbelief in gravity. Does Oxford Union have any obligation to provide a platform for me to unveil my copious notes and ideas in ‘support’ of this idea…?

 

No, of course not – and nor would  Oxford dream of doing so!  Yet when it suits, countless individuals and institutions play the ‘freedom of speech’ card in order to promote all manner of absurd, irrational and sometimes dangerous beliefs.


Which brings us to Reader X. He has repeatedly stated: ‘I insist that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation’.

 
Well, dear Reader X, you may continue to insist this, and deny reality, as much as you like. Go on – knock yourself out!
  
But not on my blog.
  
 
Any group which attacks and kills unarmed, innocent civilians, is a terrorist group. Yep – it’s as black and white as that. Thus when Hamas sent suicide bombers onto two Israeli buses, killing sixteen people, including a 3 year old child,  that was terrorism. End of.
 
I’m not remotely interested in Reader X’s apologetics for Hamas. Nor will I feel bad for denying his ‘right’ to publicly condone them. He can seek to justify and rationalise and apologise for Hamas terrorism all he likes.
  
But not on my blog.

 

Nor do I accept that Reader X has any ‘right’ to use my blog to condone bigotry.

Last week I posted a story about how a top Obama aide cheerfully shared a platform with a man who then claimed that Hurricane Katrina was G-d’s ‘punishment’ towards Gay people, and that Jews are seeking to ‘control the world’.

 

Most sane people recognise this bigotry towards Gays and Jews for what it is: appalling. Likewise, they understand that it is not OK for a top Obama aide to share a platform with and thus legitimise someone expressing such spite.

But what did Reader X think? ‘It’s good that Obama is prepared to talk to lots of people.’

Er, right…

 Again, if Reader X wants to support anti Gay and Anti Jewish bigotry, he’s free to do so.
  
 But not on my blog.

 

In particular, Reader X has condemned my apparent unwillingness to allow dissenting opinions on Israel. So let’s clarify.

 

If someone wants to criticise Israeli policies, they are free to do so. If someone wants to post condemnation of specific decisions made by Israel or particular Israeli politicians, they are free to do this too.  If their posts are based on facts and – this is key – an accurate understanding of the situation.

 

But when someone makes it clear that they don’t even know the term ‘palestinian’ always referred to Palestinian Jews, and when they then try and ‘prove’ their case by anecdotal evidence, and when all they do is regurgitate weary old Arab propaganda that has been disproven time and again – then no, I don’t have any obligation to publish this person’s misconceptions.

  
There are countless sites out there where Reader X can share his inaccurate ideas on Israel.
My blog is not one of them.

 

And finally, Reader X,  I reserve the right to reject your blatant hypocrisy. For example, you have often stated that you trust the UN. Thus if the UN condemns Israel for something, it is  ‘good enough‘ for you – note, I’m using your own words here.

Yet at the same time, you ignore that the UN also stated in a resolution that Hezbollah should have disarmed.   But you don’t care what the UN says about this. Indeed,  only recently you tried to submit a post claiming that Hezbollah has nothing to do with terrorism!

This is rank  hypocrisy. When the UN condemns Israel, it’s acceptable. But when the UN condemns Palestinian and Islamic terrorism, it gets ignored. Again Reader X, you’re free to practise this hypocrisy.
  
But not on my blog.


 

Finally, and most egregiously, Reader X, you showed how little value you attache to Jewish life, any Jewish life, by your response to the recent update on murdered and tortured French Jew Ilan Halimi.

Responding to this post, what did you say?  You spoke of Palestinians in prison in Israel – and did not say a single word about the way that this young French man was abducted, tortured, set alight and killed by French Muslims. Muslims who admitted to being obsessed with killing Jews and who actually phoned the victim’s parents and quoted to them from the Quran.

Now of course, you’re not obliged to respond to the Ilan Halimi post at all. But to submit a response to it  that totally ignores his death? That is in poor taste and again, just reveals your hypocrisy. You care so much for Palestinian Arabs – yet don’t give a damn when Jewish blood is spilled.

 
And so, Reader X, if you are indeed looking at this post: don’t tell me that you’re ‘objective‘ and ‘fair‘ when it comes to any topic connected to either Israel or anti Jewish sentiment. You’re not. At least have the integrity to acknowledge your own bias and blatant double standards.

 

And if at any time you decide to adopt a fairer approach, then you are most welcome to post here again.

But, until and unless that time arrives, you’ll have to take your right to condone terrorism and bigotry and exercise it on other blogs –  ’cause you ‘aint doing it on this one!

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8 thoughts on “A Message For ‘Reader X’ aka It’s My Blog And I’ll Ban Who I Want To!

  1. Sultan it’s not about the freedom of speech. It’s about taking things anyone with a brain knows AS FACT and turning it around and mixing it up and turning it to crap, then calling it a fact to the other side.

    And right, we’re the nutters because we actually spread the truth? If that’s what makes us nutters than by G-d we’re asa crazy as they come.

  2. The internet seems to have tripled the number of people who don’t seem to understand that freedom of speech is meant to provide freedom from political persecution by the government, not a right to shove their opinions anywhere they please and on anyone they please in any forum.

    I have fairly little patience for trolling or anti-israel agit prop in comments. If I were a larger blog where the comments section served more as a discussion forum, I would do things differently. But as a medium sized blog where the comments are mostly feedback, I’ve learned to avoid letting the comments section be hijacked by nutters. It winds up being a waste of my time and energy.

  3. Absolutely Tabatha!
    The beauty of a blog is that one may disagree;but disagreement must be substantiated.
    That’s civilised discussion.
    But bigoted views from morons such as projihadis, antisemites and hate filled fascists whilst amusing at first, can become tedious in the extreme.
    Charles Johnson at LGF has little patience with madmen.
    They make a daft comment and within minutes it’s deleted.

  4. Thanks so much LEE – as always, your words of encouragement are greatly, greatly appreciated 🙂

  5. Very well put! It’s time we fight back against these people who twist the facts for their own agendas and then hide under the flag of “freedom of speech”. This is what the Arabs do, the governments do, this is what Hitler and Arafat did and what Abbas continues to do today.

    You’re right, it’s YOUR blog. It’s your own world. YOU set the rules, not your visitors. “Freedom of speech” only applies to those places that allow it, and it actually is controlled EVERYWHERE in the world, contrary to popular opinion. Actually, there is no such thing as “freedom of speech”. Here in the US we are not free to say whatever we wish, and never have been. The key lies in the wording of the document: “Congress shall make no law”; it’s all about the government making laws, that’s all. Let Reader X go to a government Web site and tell them his/her plans to blow up the government. He/she will see how fast the government allows “freedom of speech”.

    Your comment about what makes a terrorist group is on the money. The world has tried to hide that fact with the PLO. But it doesn’t matter what the US, Britain or the rest of the world says, the Palestinian Liberation Organization was, is and always will be a terrorist organization, as is Hamas. However, you will soon see the governments of the world do with Hamas what it did with the PLO … make Hamas a “political” organization instead of a terrorist organization. They are doing it even now. They need to do it in order to destroy Israel.

    I know that you allow different opinions here. I have seen them myself. And, as you say, that’s not a problem. It’s with twisting the facts. Joan Peters, author of “From Time Immemorial”. is an excellent example of what happens when people really try to find the facts. They sometimes end up defeating their own argument.

    Keep up the excellent work! And please, for the rest of us, ban those people who demand to make up their own truths because they can’t handle the actual truth.

  6. RIGHT ON! Bigotry is a problem and this ‘reader x’ can say whatever he wants, true. BUT when he turns FACTS into crap, that is where the line is crossed. THat’s not right. THe holocaust happened. Hamas is a terrorist organization, G-d did not punish Gays, and Jews don’t want to rule the world. Anyone who says differently is a loon.

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