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Richard Silverstein errs again

This a guest post by Michael Weiss.

This is getting tiresome.

First Richard Silverstein accused me of getting Syrian state documents from the Israelis. I didn’t. Now he thinks he’s called me out for hypocrisy, alleging that I was quite upset over Raed Salah’s entry into Britain but that:

Even more importantly, Weiss’ Henry Jackson Society arranged for that handsome, dashing IDF officer Doron Almog to speak via video conference to a gathering of the pro-Israel flock eager to hear the good general opine on the topic, Ending Impunity or Decreasing Accountability?: Averting Abuse of Universal Jurisdiction. There would appear to be more than a little bit of self-interest in Almog’s appearance at such a gathering. Almog couldn’t speak in person because there was a little matter of a warrant for his arrest for ordering the deaths of 18 Palestinian civilians including women and children when the IDF assassinated Salah Shehadeh in 2003. And lest Weiss blame British law for the ‘nonsense’ of holding potential Israeli war criminals responsible for their actions, we should remember that it is Israeli NGOs like Yesh Din and Israeli human rights lawyers like Michael Sfard, who have spearheaded these efforts.

The Henry Jackson Society did not arrange for Almog’s lecture nor did it sponsor or participate in it.

If you click on the link above, you’ll find that HJS sponsored the panel discussion that followed the one with Almog. This is clear from the JCPA flier, which cites the Global Law Forum and the Legacy Heritage Fund as the sponsors of the entire conference.

Silverstein is free to call up the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and confirm this, though I doubt it will make much of a difference if he does.

When he’s wrong, which is often, he simply impugnes the source material proving that he’s wrong. Well, this one has “Jerusalem” in the title, so there you go. Even Ha’aretz, when it reports on Salah’s blood libel, is “by no means universally reliable”. Unlike Silverstein, of course, who is always a feast of reason and flow of the soul.

You may be wondering why a man whose blog is called “Repairing the World” seems to think the best method of doing that is lying about his opponents. I can’t speak for others who have strayed into the crosshairs of this sad old man’s pop-gun, but in my case, there’s a bit of a history.

A few years ago, I actually gave Richard a bit of work, hiring him to do a guest blog spot at an old magazine I worked for called Jewcy. This was followed up by an offer to make him a permanent contributor to the blog. Then came the Gaza War. Richard took umbrage at Jewcy’s coverage of the conflict, accusing it of being one-sided and right-wing. He did not want to be the “token lefty.” I pointed out to him that we had plenty of left-wing contributors: Adam LeBor seriously questioned accusations of Israeli war crimes in our pages, etc. I also told Richard that by hiring him, he’d be another lefty and could write whatever he liked.

But it soon became clear that I was meant to either apologise for the magazine’s coverage entirely or to hold Richard’s hand through a dark spiritual conflict in his online career. Eventually this led to my suggesting to him, perhaps a shade too cruelly, that if he had such a problem with the magazine, he may feel that his blogging services were better suited elsewhere. All I remember of his wounded reply was, “You could have said…. You could have said…” There was a lot talk of “feelings” on that email exchange, which, in the end, made me glad that the whole arrangement went tits up.

Since then, I’ve been a “neocon,” “pro-Israel zealot,” etc. And Richard has stayed delightfully the same.

UPDATE: Middle East Monitor Online has republished Silverstein’s blog. I have just spoken with Dr. Daud Abdullah, explaining that the facts in this piece are wrong and that it should be amended or removed. He has promised to “look into it.”